Living with Cerebral Palsy 🍋🍋

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Ring out the old....

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Elin sure did. Without wishing to cast the inevitable curse that comes with grandiose statements, I've got to say I think it was her best yet! Aside from a bug she was always bound to get, which thankfully disappeared well before Christmas, Elin has been the happiest, healthiest and most relaxed we've ever seen her. That is ALL we ever want for Christmas.
Its surprising, looking back through my posts, how many Christmases didn't work out so well for Elin. I have just realised that three years on the run we had a stint in hospital over Christmas and in other years, she was either coming down with a bug or getting over a bug on the big day itself. One Christmas Eve, a seizure landed her on Children's Ward. Another year she had to stay at home with me whilst Paul did our annual London Christmas visit because she was too ill to travel.
The reason this is surprising to me, is that I don't really remember them. They haven't stuck in my memory as you would presume they would have. As we enter a new decade, I thought it would be nice to reminisce about my ghosts of Christmas past before I sat down to write my Christmas blog post and the only imagery I could conjure up in my minds eye was joyful. I remembered Elin laughing at the wrapping paper on her presents, Christmas balloons, her school concerts, visits from family, cuddles with friends by the Christmas tree, outings to shows and concerts, meeting Father Christmas, I even remember her various gorgeous outfits over the years! But until I really, really focused and checked back through this online diary of mine, the bad times (of which there have been many it seems!) were strangely mute in my memory. 
This is going to sound as trite and glib as anything, but it has made me remember that truly, life and feelings and struggles and bad times are fluid, which is a reminder I really need sometimes.  I'm not trivialising these issues. I have been beyond miserable during these times. I still have really, really, hard moments and struggle to keep my anxieties and emotions in check, which I am not good at admitting or dealing with (but I'm working on that!) Sometimes,  I make lemonade from my lemons and sometimes the only thing I can do is chop them up and put them in a massive gin and tonic!! Unending positivity just isn't always possible.  However, when I look back on the important times of our life with Elin, like Christmas, I can STILL only really remember the good things. Despite the absolute agony of the bad times. I love the human brain for doing that, against all the odds and even when you are pre-disposed to overwhelming worry and anxiety,  it still tries its best to filter out the overwhelmingly painful stuff. Maybe it's partly our determination as a family to focus on the positive, although as I've said god knows that is not always possible, or maybe it's because we know that ultimately, as long as we have Elin happy and healthy and by our sides then the rest of the pain we experience will be muffled, if we can allow it to be.
I know this is not specific to us. I know that when it boils down to it, nobody really cares about presents or turkey or Christmas trees. All any of us want is our health and for the health of the people we love and to get to spend another Christmas with them. I am unbelievably lucky to have some utterly amazing friends and family surrounding me, none of whom I could navigate this journey without. On new Year's Eve this year I will be wishing for a healthy 2020 for everyone we know and love, everyone who cares so much about us and everyone we care so much for in return. It is after all the ONLY thing that will ever really matter. 
Happy New Year folks. Dina Caroll said it way better than I could:
"Ring out the old
Bring in the new
A midnight wish to share with you.
If you're with me, next year will be
The perfect year"

See you in 2020 everyone!!


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