Thursday, December 11, 2008
Reason For Pause
This week we started pulling out all the boxes. You know the ones, filled full of tinsel, snowmen and little villages? Every year I am amazed by how many we seem to have. It's really not that we are gaining more, simply put, I am just getting worse at repacking them up. Still, seeing the lights, the angels and of course jolly old St. Nick gives me reason for pause.
It was this same time three years ago, I found the smallest of lumps. Three years ago I felt my heart pause. Three years ago I felt the fear of cancer slip quietly into my life. Since then I have been beaten up a bit, shoved a time or two, cut and sewn back up but for all the wear and tear I have emerged a survivor in true form. So for me this time of year is a time to reflect and to celebrate. Our home is full of life, joy, laughter and most of all HOPE. We have seen the darkness, felt the pain and with God's grace we have lived to tell the tale so to speak.
Here and now, in this time and in this place I am alive. As I look around my home, I see my children, my beautiful boys living in the moment. As we count down the days till Christmas I am reminded of just how precious the time we spend here on this earth, in this lifetime really is. How wonderful it is to wake and greet a new day! How blessed I am to be surrounded by those I love and those who love me. How can I complain or how can I take anyone or anything for granted ever again?
I remember clear as day the moment I found my lump in December 2005. I knew right away, though I tried to find every reason why it wasn't cancer. I tried to forget about it and enjoy the holidays with my family. I desperately didn't want it to be cancer. I did all I could to push it away, block it out, and pay no attention to it. So I lived, just as I have always done, in spite of the beast who was lurking around our home, our tree and my life .We put the lights up, decorated the tree , put the gifts out and enjoyed the season. Little did we know how much life was about to change.
So this year I celebrate all we have, no matter how big or small. We are a family, together, able to hold each other tight. Life has changed, but we are the better for it all. Now, the gifts around the tree have little to do with how blessed we are. The size of our tree has no significance, nor does the meal we put upon our table. What do you ask has real meaning during this season of celebration? Life, family and hope. The grace God has given my family and I is the greatest gift ever we have been given.
I felt the power and the true meaning of this season on Tuesday night as I sat just hours after my IVIG infusion, watching my son Joshua sing. He stood there surrounded by 259 other choir members from his school singing the Carol of the Bells. I sat there with tears streaming down my face. He was so happy, confident and beautiful. For a second I saw the grace of God pour down upon him and I was moved beyond words. I was in awe as I was humbled in His presence. How can I worry? How can I complain? God has not forsaken me. All I will ever need in each and every day He affords and blesses me with.
I am living here and now. I am breathing, and laughing. I can feel my heart beat and my soul stir. So I sit in awe of His mercy, of His unending love and this life He has given me. I am a wife, a mother and a survivor. I am alive to feel my husbands hands hold mine, to feel my children's arms wrap around me and to feel the sun shine upon my face everyday. I have much to be thankful for and even more to praise Him for.
So this year, I live in wonder of the season. The beauty of His gifts surround my life. I am alive, full of hope. I may still battle this beast on certain fronts, but I do not do so alone. Grace, mercy and hope fill my heart as they carry me through to another year.
May we all sit and rest a spell knowing we are loved. May we all feel the blessings of Christmas both past and present.