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A Different Kind of Holiday

Ever since I was hit hard with myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatique syndrome, the illness so eloquently portrayed by Jen Brea in the film Unrest, the holidays have been very different for me. Gone are the holiday gatherings, the caroling with friends and neighbors, the concerts. My body is too weak to attend any of these festivities, and the sound makes me dizzy within a very short time. I’ve been mostly housebound these 27 years.
Both of my parents are now dead, as are my husband’s parents and nearly all of my cousins. Christmas can be a very hard season to get through, as friends write about what they’ve done and plan to do. We decided early on that our Chrismas had to be about what is and not what was and that we would celebrate the season in a way that is possible physically and that eases us emotionally.
We decorate minimally. A small tree in the window. A wreath on the door. I ride in my power chair to the drawer where I keep my mother’s old angels and angels we’ve bought together. These get piled in my lap and placed around the house. I feel my mother is with me during these rides. I feel the angels watching over us each day and night until Christmas has come and gone. We feel at peace.
Pris Campbell
Lake Worth, Florida


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