Night Lights

It happened in January.

I wanted to watch Downton Abbey.  All week I alerted everyone in the house  that Sunday night from 8 to 10 there would be absolute quiet in the family room. Watch the show with me or leave. I had waited ten months for the fourth season of my favorite show to begin.

But then the evening unraveled and by the end I was so frustrated that I left the house with my Emma dog, leaving the Tv on with  Downton Abbey  still playing.  I drove up the hill feeling guilty and talking to myself about how immature my behavior was; after all, I could watch the show tomorrow on-demand. But then I arrived at the lights and my whole outlook calmed.

During the holiday season I have a favorite place to visit: a house with very special Christmas lights. Probably many people wouldn’t understand, but visiting it can soothe my frustration. To describe the beautiful scene isn’t easy, but it’s a huge property with enormous trees scattered  around  the  front yard, and hanging from every tree are  spheres of light – beautiful handmade balls about 24-inches in diameter covered with all different combinations of LED lights.

Sometimes I sit there in my car with “Silent Night” playing on my radio; sometimes I am bold and I walk among them as they swing  in the winter silence — 100 beautiful balls – and for some inexplicable reason I am  calmed.  Most evenings throughout the holiday season Emma and I go to look at them, and  I try to absorb their beauty so I can remember them the other months of the year.

My January evening first started to fall apart about 8:05 when the family arrived home, and no matter how quiet they tried to be, I was distracted. Then Bo came into the family room from his nap in the living room, “Whatcha doing?” and sat beside me. He continued to ask questions. Then one of the children came into the room and asked what was happening on the show as  Lord Crawley entered his library with Lady Cora.  My stress level was rising.

“What’s that?” Bo asked, touching a candle on the coffee table, then he picked up the newspaper and asked, “What’s this?” I was really trying to stay calm – one eye on the TV, the other on what Bo was doing, but I was really irritated and sorry for myself. He continued and I reacted.  Jon, Bo’s caregiver,  saw me walk out the door with the dog, so he took over.

Emma and I walked among the trees in the silence, the beauty of the lights calming me,  and by the time I drove home I was back in balance.


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10 Responses to Night Lights

  1. Pat says:

    thank God for little blessings.

  2. Maureen says:

    Love it! I need to see this display!!!

  3. lori says:

    Please don’t feel guilty about what you feel – we are – after all – very human. Mom and I have experienced similar frustrations with Dad. I realize that it is the dementia – not Dad – and – we too feel that feelings of wanting to escape. It is a wonderful blessing that you can have a place to go to when things feel like they are closing in on you. Please know that you are doing the best job you possibly can. We caregivers need to take care of ourselves first – because – without tending to our souls – how can we possibly take care of others who depend on us?
    Bless you and take care.

  4. Stopped by from One Word Wednesday. I feel your pain, the tv plays game shows here…from the moment Mom wakes up until she goes to sleep at night. I tape all the shows that I want to watch and view them whenever I get a free moment. I have never watched Downtown Abbey but everyone who does loves it.

  5. Lisa M says:

    I can picture myself right there with you. I adore Christmas lights. There was a special one near where mom lived before she moved in with us and I would stop sometimes on my way to AND from my visits. I went there this holiday and sat in my car and cried. It felt like saying goodbye to a simpler time or to the mom I used to know…or maybe it was just releasing stress. It’s good you have a place where you can find your balance. Beautiful post, beautiful escape!

  6. Dianne says:

    Nancy, you have an unlimited get out of jail free card as far as I’m concerned. What’s amazing about human beings is our survival mechanisms that kick in when needed. Obviously the Christmas orbs provided your solace in your flight or fight response that night. As always love, dw

  7. I always pray for you and Bo. No matter what may come, God will be with you always and always.

  8. Pingback: Beautiful Music | FoodDancer

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