I had never imagined that I would be left home alone for Christmas! Oh, yes, there was Mimi, the 11-year old Pekingese I adopted a year ago.
I was discharged on December 22, winter solstice, just in time for the traditional festive dinner with family. The doctor instructed me to wear that hard gear for a month so that the fracture in the knee joint could recuperate. But Hong Kong Women Teachers’ Organization had planned an exchange tour of 40 teachers to Chengdu from December 23 to 26 with me as the group leader. I could but forfeit the paid tickets. The Vice-chairperson and the Consultant had to take up the leaders’ role.
To make my fate even worse, I had earlier allowed my helper to take extra days off since her mother was in town. That would mean from December 23 to 26, the situation was me, an old woman and Mimi, an old dog sitting in front of the television watching whatever programmes we were fed with. I began to contemplate how I was to spend the Christmas night.
At about 6pm on 24th, came Teresa, my youngest sister with her basket full of goodies – salmon sushi, pizza, pasta and even the Christmas cake from my favourite cake shop. That was a very pleasant surprise because she has a phobia of dogs and Mimi has a phobia of strangers. I could not imagine the two of them spending a quiet silent night together in the same room. But that evening, except for the initial few barks, Mimi settled down very quickly. Teresa could sit comfortably without fidgeting or worrying that Mimi would bark.
Miracles do happen. After all it was Christmas!