"It's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees and putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace"-River Joni Mitchel
During the darkest days this song was one that I listened to over and over again. (The Blue album by Joni Mitchell? Totally top 5) There was something about the song river that I related to. About escaping the holidays and skating away on a river to a place that was better than the present reality.
Yet now as I step back and look at those heart wrenching moments nine years ago I can now step back and be in awe. Awe that the human body in all of its imperfect perfection can create such a terrible disease yet have the amazing ability to fight it. Though I often don't feel awe about my body. Though I see and have witnessed what the body can fight I can honestly say that I am awe struck. How are bodies are not just the fat thing we carry around with us every day but it is us. It is what we present to the world. How it functions. I am in awe that nine years later my mom runs half marathons and pushes herself to accomplish her personal goals.
Another gift I received nine years ago? Gratitude. To Julene and Kelly for coming over and decorating our Christmas tree and living room while my mom was in the hospital so when she came home our house would have the spirit of Christmas. Though to them it seemed a small thing to me it showed the power of the Christmas spirit. For the meals that showed up at our door step. To the cards and encouraging words. For the act of being there. What I have learned from this? To express gratitude. To say it. To do it. To use it. Gratitude for the simplest of blessings. For this season where joy and life hangs in the air.
Nine years ago I saw and heard death. Though it didn't linger and the threat was very easily vanquished. Why am I writing about this? In a way it is a simple way to say thanks but more importantly to remind myself this Christmas to stop thinking about myself. I think about another night years ago far away on a plain in a place far far away from here and in a different time. I think of a young family scared and alone looking for a place of shelter. For a home. Though we have no way of knowing I think of all those who came and helped at the moment and the fear a young mother faced and a young father paced. Though birth and cancer are at the odd ends of the spectrum they are forcedly connected. From birth comes new life and from cancer comes the removal of old life and the connection that life is fragile.
I express gratitude for living through this. I am in awe.
To close I can only say
Merry Christmas my loves.
Let the simple joy fill the air. See life for what it is. Live it. Let Love and happiness surround you and be grateful for life.