A Caregiver's Night Before Christmas

Denise

A Caregiver's Night Before Christmas

Denise
santa-31665_640It was the night before Christmas
and all through the night
all creatures were stirring, including the mice.

The stockings spun in the dryer
In hopes Santa would be late
Because we sure are.

We're a caregiving family doing our best
To beat the clock each day
As we juggle career, kids, caregiving.

The children, surrounded by last year's newspaper,
Decorated a tree that should have been trimmed a week ago.
They laughed and joked, relieved to be celebrating the night's arrival.

Mamma in her sweatpants and I in my baseball cap
Huddled to wrap the last of the gifts, comforted by our new motto:
"You don't help, we don't give."

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprung from our table with the same worried thought:
"Has our caree wandered?"

Away to the door I flew like a flash,
While Mamma sprinted to our caree's room.
"She's sleeping," Mamma called with relief.
"He's here," I screamed with panic.

We ran, Mamma, children and I, to our beds,
Snuggling within our comforters
Hoping the Big Guy could overlook our mess:
The wrapping, the paper, the laundry.

We waited, breaths held, as we heard his thump.
"Did you leave carrots and cookies," I asked.
I received my answer when Mamma groaned.

But I couldn't take a chance that Christmas might be ruined
So I slithered out of bed, hoping slippers silenced my steps
As I tip toed through the hallway, kitchen in sight.

"Hey, there," Santa called. "Can you grab me some cookies?"
I poured him some milk, handed him the Oreos,
Hoping he wouldn't miss Mamma's homemade chocolate chip.

"Forgive me for my early arrival," Santa explained.
"But I'm helping the Mrs. care for hers and I need to be home
before morning personal care."

I nodded in understanding. "Me, too," I said.
As he turned to go back up the fireplace, Santa shared,
"I left a little something extra for your family
To make tomorrow more festive and fun."

I watched out the window as Santa
Sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like we do on our way to the ER.

I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight:
“Happy Christmas to all family caregivers, and to each a very heartfelt thank you!”

(An invitation to all Caregiving.com bloggers: Please feel free to pen your own version of this classic Christmas poem.)