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Multiple System Atrophy Trust
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Looking forward to the New Year

Season's greetings to everyone.

I think Christmas can be a frustrating time for many. I know Jackie used to be at the heart of Christmas preparations - putting up the decorations, planning and buying presents and of course always the star in the kitchen. This year she has had to resign herself to not being able to do much of what she used to do before. relying on others to create the Christmas we so enjoy.

On the other hand, however, we are so grateful that Jackie is still able to be the heart of everything going on. Her memory is still so much better than mine has ever been - "where does this decoration usually go?"..."what do I stuff into this turkey"....."which recipe do we usually use for brandy butter". It has been a happy time, frustrating for Jax at times but so very rewarding at others. There's an occasional touch of sadness with the constant elephant in the room of 'what can I look forward to for next Christmas?'

There is so much to look forward to however in the New Year. As we have said so often, not quite the early retirement we planned but still lots to do together, places to visit, people to see and of course we have that so, so precious time together.

Enjoy the rest of Christmas and Happy New Year everyone; I hope you can make the absolute very best of whatever you're able to do in the year ahead. Take care, Ian & Jackie x

2 Replies

Thanks for your lovely post. As usual you are talking with such knowledge and compassion.

There are so many elephants in the room with MSA. One is that we all get an instinct for knowing who will not be here next year and never mention it..and our instinct is often quite wrong. During the time Victor had MSA there were a number of people we thought would not be with us much longer and who survived with reasonable lives for much longer than any one expected.

We found that our Christmases were still enjoyable right to the end. Victor was not a great Christmas fan but happy to enjoy the decorations with me.

The first Christmas after he died I found it impossible to find the right thing to do as I really wanted to ignore the whole event. Not possible as EVERYTHING has a santa claus hat on.You can't even book a meal without compulsory jollifications. My friends invited me round to their events but I am touchy about sitting in some other family's chimney corner.

In the end the Sally Army solved my problem. They do a Christmas Day lunch and I helped serve tea,coffee and mince pies for the volunteer drivers who fetched the guests and took them home again.Perfect. My fellow volunteer was also hiding from Christmas after the recent suicide of her brother so we understood each other perfectly!!! The volunteers just wanted a rest and a cuppa after cheering up some pretty unresponsive passengers and were suffering from jollity fatigue.

Have as good a New Year as you can everyone and followYanno's advice and make the most of every possibility



Happy New Year Ian and Jax, I feel I know you had a well enough to address you as such, we had a funny peculiar Christmas too where for the first time in 51 years I could do nothing, but it went off very well, grateful for small mercies. Wheelchair and ramp coming up in the New Year. All the for best for 2018 to you both, Penny.


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