I told my daughters, Mollie and Elizabeth, when they were very small that it is the Christmases which are different that we remember. All the perfect Christmases blend into one lovely memory.
This entire year has been about as imperfect as it could be. Early in the year I was diagnosed with aggressive, invasive thyroid cancer. It shocked me because both my parents’ families have remained almost cancer free. I shed a few tears but having been assured that surgery and radiation would take care of it went on with my life.
The real blow fell in August, when my younger daughter, a Presbyterian minister, was diagnosed with a invasive rectal cancer. I thought my heart would stop. Four surgeries and six weeks of daily radiation for her bring us to the week before Christmas.
I have been staying with Elizabeth since Wednesday when she had her fifth surgery. The Polar Express was predicted to gust into town at 4AM Friday morning. She had her first chemo scheduled at 8AM following a flash freeze, winds of 50 MPH, and snow. I stayed alone at her house while a friend and Elizabeth booked a hotel near the hospital Thursday night. I waited on pins and needles for them to return safely. I have remained here to watch over my child, because she will always be my child, no matter how old she is!
Elizabeth’s house is festively decorated, only because her friend from Chicago, a fellow minister, brought her two daughters and trimmed her tree and house! There are no better friends to have than pastors!
My house is a shambles but I don’t care. This is where I need to be and will remain (with periodic trips to feed my kitties).
Ultimately, Christmas is about love: our Father God’s love for his children, that he sent his son to save us. This Christmas there is no place I would rather be than caring for Elizabeth. The best gift I could receive is spending time with my daughter! I will take every minute I can get! Merry Christmas to you all!! Cherish your loved ones. They are what makes this life worth living!