What exactly does that mean? We can and should be happy that we are spending the most joyous time of the year with those we love the most. But shouldn’t we do that always? Every time we get together? Do we need a calendar to tell us that “this is a holiday”?

Steve and I never did. We never used a calendar to tell us we needed to celebrate. We would get with our closest neighbors – affectionately known as “the hood” – and they would all come over and enjoy a great night of food, conversation, and laughs. We would start a fire in the fire pit on our patio and just enjoy the night. It didn’t have to be a special occasion… but friends are what make it special.

Even when Steve was home on hospice, I tried to celebrate our time together with special things that we didn’t normally do, because he wasn’t capable of doing those anymore, so I had to make it exciting. We had many nights of “couple massages.” Of course, he was the only one who got a message. But we both gained something. There’s nothing better than being tactile with your loved one in a new way. He couldn’t get out of bed after a while and it’s important to feel touch from another human being. His skin got its nourishment and I got to enjoy the pleasure of caressing him in his last days. What a happy feeling!

We had reserved Friday night as our “food challenge” night – who had the best chicken wings? Who made the best chicken sandwich? Or the best hoagie? I spent 2 hours picking up these darn sandwiches when all that was open was drive thru… We tried KFC, Popeyes, McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A… in the end, Popeye’s was the winner.

I tried to make every day a holiday for him in his last days. Every day was a celebration – a celebration of life. I tried to wear cheerful colors… and Steve’s last week, as I could see the end coming… I wore nice tops, put on makeup, did my hair. I just thought that if he opened his eyes once more… he would see me… his bride … all polished up… ready to celebrate something.

Our last celebration was a hair tickle across his face which made him smile… and that was celebration enough… it was a happy day… a happy holiday.

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