It's hard to be in the holiday spirit this week.
Cancer will do that to you.
Bobby Crosby was diagnosed a little over a year ago with the disease. He passed away at St. Joseph's last week and was buried at Savannah Valley Tuesday.
At his funeral, a procession of emergency vehicles filled Washington Road between the church and cemetery.
A retired Georgia State Trooper, Bobby was just 50 when he lost his battle with cancer -- around the same age as my mother-in-law, stepfather-in-law and various others that have passed through my life.
It's hard to lose people you know to a demon you don't understand. But, often, it's harder to watch them fight, especially when it's a battle they can't win.
And here at the holidays -- when joy and peace are on the tips of tongues -- it's tough to carry on through the tears. But memories are your gift and love is what can keep you afloat through the tough times.
Bless the Crosby family ... and bless Bobby too.
On a much, much lighter note, I finally have a couple of big nutcrackers around the house.
It took me getting up at 5:20 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving (in a full-bore panic, mind you, since I had planned to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be sure I was ready for the wads of folks at Wal-Mart), but it was worth it.
After three return trips, the big toy soldier-looking statues each have a place on a porch. (And I also got to hear, for the first time ever, the 6 a.m. newscast The Mirror has been sponsoring on WTHO. I hope I don't ever have to hear it again.)
The best part was, Wal-Mart was actually manageable: Maybe they piped in Prozac for the holidays.
Or maybe they just have good people there. Thanks mainly to Pat for her directions to the nutcrackers and Stephen for his help in finding an appropriate cart. They also get an assist from store co-manager Rick Mansell and associate Bill Dixon -- along with my neighbor Arthur Sparks, who offered his van to transport a couple of nutcrackers that wouldn't fit in my Jeep.
(Oh, and I can't forget to thank Tina, who was wearing Kesha's nametag, for serving up a hot breakfast at Waffle House.)
For years I have scoffed at people who ventured out on the day after Thanksgiving just to find that great deal on Christmas presents. I've always thought not battling the crowds was worth the extra $30-$40 I might have to spend to get something not on sale.
And you know what, it still is -- nutcrackers or no nutcrackers.