My chemotherapy treatments would begin on my daughter’s second birthday, November 29, two months after my operation. So I arranged a small party for the day prior to celebrate her second birthday. It was a great distraction, but a brutal reminder of what may come. Would I make it to her third? Will she remember me? Who can tell me I can watch her grow up?
Each birthday or Christmas (because they are about one month apart), depending on when I had more time, I would write Isabella a letter. They are accumulating in her Christmas stocking, and I hope she’ll look at them again later in life. That second birthday or Christmas was the only year I wasn’t able to fulfill that new tradition. I still felt strong, but there was too much going on, so I had likely forgotten about it. My letters would reflect on the past year, what I’ve learned about being a mother, lessons we taught each other, and aspirations for the future. I also write each of my nieces and nephews special letters at Christmas.
The first Christmas in my new home was unavoidable due to my illness and inability to go out unnecessarily. Trailing my feeding machine in the evening was not worth the hassle, so it was natural that we spent the holiday at my house. So I began another tradition by celebrating Christmas Day at my house during subsequent years, sharing it with my entire family and mother-in-law. My mother and my sisters handled every thing, since at that point, I was already carrying the weight of chemo’s side effects.
We eat, eat, exchange gifts, and eat more. We also play games and cards. Though that first Christmas was difficult, it made every other remarkable.
I pray every day for those that I love. Join me in offering peace, health, and happiness to all those around us. Regardless of our different races, religions, upbringing, desires, or emotions, we will all end up “together”. Let’s make the transition memorable, not miserable. Don’t waste each day avenging on who you think your enemies are, but send them love, and you will feel fulfilled in ways indescribable.
I apologize for missing last week’s post – I certainly received “feedback” from readers who expect their Tuesday’s email to contain my new excerpt. Thanks for reminding me how important this is! Life happens, and next time, I promise to try to schedule it in advance so it’s there waiting for your viewing.