Monday, December 12, 2016

Comfort of the Season (and a book giveaway)

It’s been a tough few months in our household. Older family members are sick (one uncle is currently in the hospital) and in addition, our sixteen-year-old cat is having kidney issues which require me to give him a needle with 100 ml of fluids each afternoon.

I never thought I could handle this kind of heartache. We’ve been saying Goodbye to too many of the older generation of late, and each time a loved one passes it feels like a painful rip in the heart. In addition, I’m not a great medical caretaker—or at least, I never thought I was. I was the girl, after all, who turned down a coveted invitation to Advanced Placement Biology because I couldn’t see myself ever being able to dissect a pig. Heck, I can’t even look at my own arm—or the needle—when I’m having blood drawn for a wellness test.
Otis in Spring

But I’m discovering that love gives great strength when it’s absolutely needed. After we received the news about Otis, our male tomcat, I gritted my teeth and let his veterinarian teach me how to inject him. We are currently on day ten of Otis’s “fluids” procedure. It’s happening because it must happen, because I love him.

And when the time comes that I must take care of my dad, I know I’ll be able to do that, too.

While we’ve been going through these difficult life changes, I’m finding it helpful to take good care of myself. Listening to Christmas music has eased the stress. Reading romance novels, especially holiday romances, is extremely comforting. We also made sure to put up a Christmas tree, too, and decorate it with our collection of ornaments that we’ve picked up during our travels over the years. A kilted doll from Scotland; a sand dollar from the Caribbean; a label from a lemon liqueur bottle from Sorrento. The little things can truly help comfort.

I’d like to give away some of my Superromance novels to commenters. What activities or rituals do you find comforting during the holiday season?

I’ll keep the comments open until Saturday, December 17, and check back then to announce the giveaway names.

Thank you for reading our Superromance blog. May the season be of comfort to you.

Otis at my desk



Tammy Y said...

Stay strong. This can be a tough season. Happiness and loss too. Listening to Christmas music always helps me get in the right mood. Things can get very stressful with my daughter's 12/16 birthday and work events. I always try to take some days off work too

Laney4 said...

I'm glad you are trying to "take good care" of yourself. It is sooooo important. Good luck with that!
We used to put up the Christmas tree around mid November, as that's when we celebrate my husband's family Christmas (so there's more chance that people can actually get together). The past few years, though, I was lucky to get the tree up the week before Christmas - or even a couple of days before Christmas. Not so this year! We had the tree up the day after the American Thanksgiving - because I find the lights very calming and beautiful. Besides, knowing my husband, he's going to try to take the tree down on Boxing Day, so I'd better enjoy it while I can! (My husband broke his right hip socket in August, so was using a walker then crutches until Thanksgiving. I figured he was now able to "get around" the tree - when it takes up so much space in the room - and there was no time like the "present", pun intended.)
Yes, Christmas music can help comfort too, although I have to be in the right mood for it. Believe you me, when I was out grocery shopping on Halloween night after the kids were done at our house, I was NOT happy to hear Christmas music playing in the grocery store. Can you imagine? And they don't even sell Christmas gifts like department stores do! I just shake my head thinking about it.
Epsom salt bubble baths ALWAYS comfort/relax me, so I strongly recommend you make time for those - especially if you take a good book in with you (why not kill two birds with one stone, so to speak?).
Some people claim a glass (or more) of wine helps. I'm thinking maybe hot chocolate/cocoa might be a good alternative, though.
A brisk walk clears the cobwebs at times, especially if you have company. Helps make you feel alive when you're one with nature.
Whatever you choose or are able to do, I wish you all the best, now and always.

Kaelee said...

Cathryn ~ Hugs to you. Taking care of a sick animal is definitely a love chore. I did the needle thing for one of my fur babies a few years ago. Our last kitty in now on daily pills for allergies. Daily bumps and licks from him make it all worth while.

I am now of the generation that will soon need someone to take care of me. My Christmas card list shrinks each year.

However as the older generation passes away, new babies come along to give my extended family joy. My husband and I don't have children but we have many nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews. Hearing about their daily lives usually lifts me up. The latest story of a great niece freezing her ear was not a happy one though.

I find a bit of sunshine a real blessing and will migrate to the room that is sunny.

Mary Preston said...

Traditions are always very comforting. We follow many of the traditions that go back through the generations. It helps to keep us connected. They bring back memories and make us feel loved. My parents generation is sadly fading away now. So few left, but the new generations take up the mantle. My mother is now a great, great grandmother which she thinks is just ridiculous. Too funny.

Laurie I said...

I'm sorry about your family members and Otis. Your experiences mirror my own life. We lost 3 family members recently back to back, and our 16 yr. old cat, Kit-Kat, has had numerous health issues since last March. It's like he went downhill over night. Now we think he might have diabetes. This is not to mention my own health challenges. Reading helps me to distract my brain for a while so I don't get too overwhelmed by it all. Thx. for the post, and I hope things will look better for us in 2017.

Colleen C. said...

Putting up decorations that I know my grandmother made or had always brightens my mood... making her pumpkin pie... these bring back such wonderful memories... also we add a new ornament for each year and for each additional family member including pets onto our tree... Wishing for brighter days for all!

Unknown said...

We are always stronger than we think! Just remember, you cannot take care of anyone if you don't take care of yourself, mentally and physically, first.

Cathryn Parry said...

I apologize for not answering sooner. My uncle ended up passing away on Tuesday morning, so it's been a difficult week.

All of your comments were thoughtful and uplifting, and have given me hope and comfort. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

I'd like to gift you all with a book from my backlist--any of your choosing. (The list can be found on my Books page on my website at If you'll please email me your address and book choice through the form on my Contact page, that would be great.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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