My heart condition has affected every aspect of our family’s life and notably just now, how we shall spend Christmas.
We have a tradition of being together if at all possible in this country or in Spain, where some of us live depending on which home could accommodate us all.
As the family grew we have sometimes hired a house. We are now a family of eleven with ages ranging from six to eighty four which makes it difficult but never impossible, though my cardiac problems add to our requirements.
After much consultation our daughters eventually found a place near our home in Leeds which caters for children, allows a dog, is tolerant of dietary needs and still had rooms available, and the generosity of one family member made the booking possible.
The interesting thing has been the unquestioning assumption that as a family we need to be together at Christmas time. Mostly we get on well with each other, although of course we have our moments. There is a lot of love which holds us during difficult times.
The present is such a time and whilst people have got on with their lives they have been concerned to include me as much as possible. There is a sense in which we are wondering if this will be the last Christmas we will spend together.
Fortunately although writing is a problem I am still reasonably coherent although thoughts do not follow each other as easily as they once did. We will see how things go and if it works and I continue to be reasonably recognisable as myself, I may report back on our Leeds 2015 Christmas and even include the name of our hotel. Perhaps.
But for all families – together, apart, or kept together through memory: