Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written anything worth sharing here. I’m kind of grappling with the fact that Christmas is in just a few short weeks – it always seems to sneak up on me like that. We’ve also been battling colds in our house, which gets me into bed way earlier than normal and leads to less work on this blog (and everything else). I know that listening to my body and making sure I stay on my feet for the rest of my family is the right thing to do.
Last night we got to spend a few hours with my mom and dad – taking about life and everything that it’s thrown at us in the past year. We all decided that it’s been hard, but that despite the trials, our family has never been closer. A year ago – we had no idea what we were about to face: ups, downs, dead ends, miracles and everything in between. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my mom on the phone and saying “some day we’ll look back at this and it will just be a blip on our radar”. I brought it up again last night – and I can’t believe how true that statement was and still is.
Terminal cancer has rocked our family to its core – I never imagined at 32 years old, I’d be watching my 62-year-old dad fight for his life. I’ve also never been more proud of someone. Through it all, the radiation, the chemo, the immunotherapy and the pain – his main concern has always been how we’re doing. The biggest source of stress for him is making sure we’re taken care of and there are no burdens for us to take on. That’s just the kind of guy that he is – I’m so lucky to have such a good role model as a dad.
As Christmas draws closer, I can’t help think about all the things I’m thankful for. A family that has remained steady in the total chaos that cancer creates. Friends who have held us up and helped support our every worry. The doctors and medical professionals who have literally saved us and given us the gift of precious time. Mostly, I’m thankful for time. I know that not everyone in my situation is lucky enough to get it, and I am proud of what we’ve done, how we’ve taken advantage of the extra time we’ve gotten and how we’re not wasting it.
I’m proud of each of my family members for the strength they’ve shown through this past year. None of us process the same way, and we’ve all been supportive of each other and have had more patience than I’ve ever seen.
I know for sure that this year has changed me. I’m done wasting time – it’s too important. I’m all finished worrying about the small stuff, and holding grudges and not telling people how much they mean to me. I’ve started to live with a sense of urgency – and more purpose. I’ve taken chances and followed my gut more and have chosen to do what feels right in my heart.
The holidays are magical and fun and lovely, but they can be hard for people too. I sure have mixed emotions about this time of year… but just remember what’s important and why we celebrate. I’m SO excited that we’re going to be hosting Christmas Eve at our house this year, with a LOT of family – it’s going to be wild and loud and most of all special. We’re going to enjoy each day this holiday season and continue to pray and hope for more happy days going forward.