Today is Christmas Eve and right now I am up early while my parents are still sleeping….
Two nights ago my dad and I bundled up in warm clothes and went for a walk. It was pitch dark outside. When I asked if we should bring a flashlight he said we would not need one. He explained that our eyes would adjust. My dad. Just like that, trusting the skies and the stars. It was chilly but we walked for over an hour. Walking we reflected on the past few months. How much has changed, what is on the horizon and how grateful we are that I get this time at home before I have to start the next thing. Christmas happens to fall right in the middle of it all…..
Twelve weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In two weeks time, I will start twelve weeks of chemotherapy. Come April, should everything go along smoothly, I will complete my reconstruction surgery. So much is ahead…
As we walked we would stop and stare up to the skies. My dad would point out constellations and I would just gaze in wonder. As I looked up it was as though I was looking back in time. I remember a time when I was little, my dad drove me to a park and we laid on the hood of his car, staring up to the sky. Such a sweet memory.
As much as my perspective has changed because of cancer…. so many days I find myself longing for the way things were.
This year my immediate family will be celebrating Christmas together. My sister and her husband, celebrating a last christmas before they become parents to a little boy….. My mom and dad, celebrating as soon to be grandparents….. and me, a soon to be breast cancer survivor and aunt.
We indeed have so much to be grateful for.
I want to thank all of you who have already seen me while I am visiting home. Those of you that I have not seen in so many years. Your kind words, your prayers and simply the hugs are so appreciated. Those of you sharing my story, asking others for prayers thank you.
In a few weeks time I will experience what it is like to have everyone in on your story, even when you don’t want them to be. Baldness, invites others in and I am afraid. No more hiding. My desire for when this day comes, is that I can embrace others faces, and stares just as I am embracing the hugs from all of you wanting to wish me well. I hope that my face and my smile demonstrate hope. The hope that I have. That in the end everything is going to be ok….. That my heartbreak now, will soon mend. That I will not be defined by cancer nor will I allow it to steal my joy.
I have been meaning to share this as well. If you see me, or give me a hug, and you start to cry….. know that your tears are welcomed and even appreciated. Being the recipient of others tears is one of the most humbling gifts. To know that I am wept for. That others are hurting with me. What a gift. I am humbled that my story, that my words bring you to tears. What an honor.
Thank you for crying….. you have my permission to cry. I cry all the time and I don’t think anyone should cry alone.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.Matthew 2:10
***Below are some pictures from the Louisville game last night with my family.