Claire Martin

Christmas 2017 – by Claire Martin

It’s been a while since I last wrote to you all.. but that’s life, right?
So how was your Christmas?
Mine was the best worst ever, or worst best ever – depending on how you look at it.
This year, for the first time in a decade, my other half and I were “empty-nesters”. We were delighted by the thought.. everyone had family, family in-laws, and family-to-be to go to. We were alone.. and secretly thrilled at the thought and the potential.
We shopped – just “for us”. We planned – just “for us”; and we relished the “just for us” theme that Christmas now had.
Then my Dad collapsed.
It was the night before Christmas Eve. I got a phone call from England. And suddenly Christmas was irrelevant. Our plans were irrelevant. All that mattered was my Dad, and that he lived.
I won’t go into the details.. he currently remains in intensive care in hospital.. and is fighting as only my strong wonderful Dad can do. Former-cops are hard to knock down!
All that is to say.. that Christmas wasn’t wrapped in paper this year. It was my Dad, alive, fighting with everything he had, to live.
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

"It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!"
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

I am so bloody grateful right now – for the best Christmas present ever. Everyone is still here.

Merry Christmas everyone. Take time to hug your family. Tell them you love them. Best Christmas present ever. Here’s to 2018.. here’s hoping it’s everything we collectively wish for..


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  • Reply Wendy Beckett December 29, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Claire, may your Dad regain his strength and live for more years to enjoy his family. I was lucky to have the Christmas you had thought of…….filled with family and loving hugs…….I appreciate it more than ever now. I wish you more years with you Dad in the future……….

  • Reply ghmanderson December 29, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Claire, I just finished sending an email to may 8 siblings, their partners and all of their children to acknowledge what would have been my father’s 92 birthday today; he also was a first responder as a firefighter in Toronto and sadly he passed just over a month before Christmas at the age of 54. One of my nieces just posted on her Facebook page a letter to the editor in the Star speaking of the time my Dad had to work Christmas day and leave all of his young children at home to open presents without him, however, we waited till he got home so Christmas could truly begin because the presents weren’t what mattered after all. And we still miss him even though he has been gone 37 years. Thank you for your story as it reminded me of mine and glad it was the worst best ever! Glenn

  • Reply Linda December 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    The 25th is just a day Claire….it’s what’s behind the tinsel that counts.

    Hang in there on the distance. If you are a close family.. and it sounds as if you are, your dad will feel you next to him…regardless of the 9 hour flight!

    I’ve been in such a position and I know what that “pull” feels like. It’s a time of many thoughts. Be true to yourself and you will get there. So says me……and what do I know!! By writing what you did, and the timing…that’s how I know…plus I was 70 last week, and I thought what you are saying many moons ago.

    Hug your friends and family tight and onwards.

    If your footsteps take you towards Vancouver maybe we bump into each other on a walk by the sea…..even that changes, it comes in and it goes out. But it is always there, as is loving and caring.



  • Reply Linda January 5, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    How is your dad Claire.


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