Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Magic

I remember my 3rd Christmas. I know you may not believe it, but I do. I had begged and pleaded for a dumptruck. I knew that was a rather strange request for a girl. I was astonished when I came out and found that huge dumptruck under the tree waiting for me. That truck carried many of my dolls as I drove it around through my magical sandpile. Growing up in Southern California I was able to play with my truck on Christmas day!

Last night I thought back through all the Christmases that I have known in my life. That's 55 Christmases. In my young years I was sick each and every Christmas. Something about the excitement, lack of sleep, candy, dusty Christmas tree, etc. etc. always kicked in my allergies which kicked in my asthma, which triggered bronchitis or pneumonia.

Now you might think that made Christmases just awful. No, not at all. I had two remarkable parents that lived the quote without knowing it, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." We danced in the rain a lot in my childhood.

My medical costs had us often teetering on the brink of financial ruin, no matter how hard both of my parents worked. Yet they convinced me and everyone else that I was a miracle in their lives.

Oh, trust me, I'm far from perfect, there were times I felt sorry for myself. One particular Christmas when I was thirty-four years old especially. The day before Christmas Eve. I was busily finishing up the last touches of Christmas for our one and one half year old daughter and our 4 1/2 year old daughter. My husband had run to the store for something.

I bounced happily to the phone when it rang. My bouncing quickly stopped when Dr. MacFarland said, "The good news is that if you have cancer this is the best form to have. The bad news is that you have cancer." The world slowed, and then just stopped. I seemed to be frozen, unable to move.

This was before cell phones. I had no way to reach my husband. I couldn't bear to be alone with this darkest of news, I called my friend from across the street. She was there with me in a heartbeat. We hugged and cried, hugged and cried some more. My girls knew something was wrong, but they kept playing.

When my husband came home happy with his arms filled with Christmas joys I HATED to wipe away his happy grin with my awful news.

Now....Christmas was ruined, RIGHT? NO...wrong. We were together as a family. The knowledge that I could lose all of it, my family, my hopes and dreams for the future, my very life made everything seem sweeter. Each moment seemed crystal clear and filled with joy.

Our friends and family gathered round with meals, love, and joy. Christmas was WONDERFUL! That's the most important thing to remember, Christmas is about serving, love, and remembering what is most important in life.

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