Laying here remembering Christmases past, I was reminded that this will be the 4th Christmas PCCd (Post Chelle’s Cancer diagnosis). There have been some tough moments and there have been some good times too. In fact, I decided to re-post something I wrote the Eve of my favorite Christmas. This was Christmas 2010, the year I really knew how lucky I was…what a beautiful memory.
With so much doom and gloom this year, I had almost forgotten all of the wonderful blessings that we experienced throughout 2010. I was able to pull myself together to remember enough to send out a pretty chipper letter in my Christmas cards. However, tonight I really need to give a moment in the spotlight to the elephant in the room.
Last December, my sister, the youngest child in our family was diagnosed with Leukemia at 24 years old. To say that this was upsetting Holiday news would be a gross understatement. To know that a year ago she was separated from her two small boys and spent Christmas Eve and day alone in a hospital bed is beyond heartbreaking. This entire year has felt like decades in the Cancer battlefield, and we are all exhausted. She has undergone horrors that I cannot even begin to imagine. Her body has been ravaged by Chemo and Radiation, she has been separated from her boys for a year longer that any mother should, and her spirits have been pushed well beyond their limits. My family has pulled itself together similar to the fashion that our country did post 9/11; we are here, we are ok, but we will be forever changed. This season my sister, whose health will also remain forever changed, is doing much better. She is a long way from good, but she is better. We are anticipating an uneventful, and mostly healthy Christmas this year. It feels like I shouldn’t have said that, might jinx something.
Someone noticed last week that I seemed peaceful, (a very unusual state for me), and asked me what I was doing differently. I could not even begin to explain how much changed in my life just by having my sister, my brother, and my father safely arrive in Tennessee. Right now, I sit at Mom’s house, preparing for everyone’s arrival to celebrate Christmas together. Did you hear that? I am going to have all of my siblings under one roof, if only one more time. Last Christmas, I would have given everything/anything to even have hope that this would ever happen again. I wish I could convey how opposite from casual that statement is made.
So tonight, as I put out each cookie, pour each glass of punch, and watch each present be opened, I will not miss a single thing. I will take in every laugh, smile, and hug with everything that I am. See, I know now that each time could be our last, and not just because of my sister. We all have a limited life span, and we all need to remember how quickly the rules can change. I don’t know how long I will remember to cherish every moment with my siblings (heck, it may not even last the night), but for this moment I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
HE is Good!!