“Family, we may not have it all together.
But together we have it all.”

When you’re on the road for a #GeezerFamilyChristmas, there are some things you need to know. Once you access Delta’s curbside wheelchair service that whisks your geezer past all the lines and straight down the gangplank to the plane, once you’ve guzzled screwdrivers in First Class (thanks Sister Sara) and tipped all the wheelchair drivers, been bustled into the crossover SUV, and arrived at your brother and sister-in-law’s lovely manse, it’s time to get down to business in the guest room. It’s kind of like toddler proofing, except you don’t really have to worry about outlet plugs.

  1. First thing is to remove all extraneous furniture – and by that I mean all furniture –except the bed and one sturdy chair. No side tables with knick-knacks, picture frames, paperweights, doohickies or chotchkies. These are geezer hazards and will certainly be knocked off, bumped into and broken.
  2. Second thing to do is to unpack all your geezer’s clothes and lay them out within easy reach. If there’s not a chest of drawers (geezers love drawers) just put everything on a clear surface, stacked and color coordinated. Don’t forget the cloth handkerchiefs, folded just so.
  3. Turn down the bed like a fancy hotel. Remove all decorative throw pillows. No chocolates necessary.
  4. Turn on the bedside table lamp, and plug in the nightlight.
  5. Leave the bathroom light on and clear off the sink. No scented candles, flower arrangements or potpourri. All that space will be needed for medications, Metamucil and your geezer’s mouthwash of choice (for The Doo, it’s a giant bottle of Cepacol, because I didn’t get him any travel-sized toiletries. My bad.)
  6. Assemble the shower chair you shipped down ahead of time and put it in the tub where it can double as a handrail near the commode, because you may or may not be too stupid to figure out those suction-cup portable handrails (as seen on TV) that your friend lent you. Another tip I didn’t follow is to buy a second walker and turn it around backwards over the commode for instant handicapped accessibility. (Again, my bad.)
  7. And finally, hang your geezer’s favorite robe on the hook inside the closest door. Or not.
    DooDaddy: “I didn’t bring my robe!”
    Me: silence, mouth agape, because I can’t envision my father without his plaid flannel robe. This is simply not possible.
    DooDaddy: “Because you weren’t there to help me pack!”
    Me: “But I sent Mac Bower!”
    DooDaddy: “But I couldn’t remember everything without you.”
    Me: guilty silence.

Sara and Randy have been darlings, putting the pups up, so DooDaddy doesn’t trip over them, although one of their beloved pets had to be put down unexpectedly just after our arrival (#RIPSmokey). Don’t ask. It’s too sad and gruesome.

And DooDaddy keeps marveling at how narrow the doorways are – he’s accustomed to The Home’s generous dimensions. Trust me, there’s nothing small about this house. And Sara had already rolled up the rugs to make the rooms wheelchair friendly.

So the moral of this story is make the best of things. Be thankful for family. And love. And don’t sweat the small stuff. Be in the moment. Loss looms. Grief is real. But Christmas transcends all. And family is everything.

Sister Sara and DooDaddy