So as some of you may know my parents are divorced, this changed nothing in my life growing up. Every important part of my life, until daddy got sick both my parents was present. On Christmas Eve my brother and I would go to my dad’s house, we would open presents from our aunts and uncles on his side of the family. Then he would leave us home and we would go to bed for Santa. Obviously, my parents were together for some time! But this blog is about when they were separated.
So… Christmas morning we would wake, at whatever time that was, knowing Ryan and I it was stupid o’clock in the morning!! As soon as we were awake mum would ring daddy and he would be straight over. With all our presents! Daddy would hang out at mums all day, have dinner and head home that night after a turkey sandwich with some extra turkey for the next week!! Christmas was full of laughter and fun! Sometimes my Uncle Raymond who has sadly passed would be there, but most importantly mum and dad were always there, laughing, joking and spoiling us with presents!! When the Huntington’s set in, it got more difficult, mum and dad had moved on and both had new partners. We would spend Christmas Eve at dads, Christmas day at mums and Boxing Day at dads. It was different, but it was fine! A lot of changes happened from the age of 14 onwards, dad’s health declined and as a side effect of Huntington’s Disease, he wasn’t the easiest to get along with. I guess he was angry, confused and lord knows what HD was doing to his head! Dads partner left, thank the Lord!! And Ryan and I were dads full-time carers, at this point, I was 17 years old! This meant that we were in charge of Christmas. Dad had care assistants as Ryan and I couldn’t be there 24/7, the only way we could be if one of us quit school. As I lived an hour away from my parents for school, I worked an hour away from home also. I would get home on Christmas Eve and my brother and I would head to the pub with a group of friends, I would only get to see them once a year normally on Christmas Eve so it was lovely to catch up. Mum and her partner would meet her friends in their local. Dad in the early years went to his local with friends but soon was on a sleeping tablet that knocked him out at 9pm. We would all land back home to my mums and head to bed for Santa to come. On Christmas morning we would wake and open presents, get ready and have dinner around 1 o’clock. Then we would bundle up a selection of desserts and head into dad’s house with a plate full of Christmas dinner. Ryan and I would eat our Christmas dinner faster than usual because we had to get into daddy. We would let him eat his dinner, ensuring he didn’t choke, open presents and eat dessert. We would relax and watch some TV. It was a pretty relaxing Christmas day, Ryan and I would head back to mums and die a death because we ate too much. The care assistants would go into daddy in the morning, and back to bed, I always liked to give them the two calls in the middle of the day off, they deserve a Christmas. You can read about this in the Care Assistants blog post. Things changed slightly over the years, but this is how it went while daddy lived at home. Christmas can be difficult, stay positive and find a routine which works for you.