“Greeting cards have all been sent. The Christmas rush is through…”
Only today did I open the Christmas Portrait album and let Karen Carpenter’s lyric climb into my headphones. This past year has been anything but typical so it shouldn’t be all that surprising to learn this is not your typical Christmas missive.
Even though it was late August, I can still remember the sound of the paper crinkling underneath me as I sat on the edge of the table waiting for results. “Cancer. Really?” Fade to black.
Tumors or not, it was rude of me to drop off the face of the blogosphere without inking as much as a single word to anyone.
I remember initially struggling with the idea of how to broach my new reality with you. Having always had a loner streak, I’ve long chafed when I’ve seen some use disease or misfortune as a means in their pursuit of pity or popularity. I wasn’t going to be ‘that guy’.
But on the other hand, I am deeply vested in my blogging experiment. Do I turn the blog into a journal chronicling my fight with the disease or, do I uphold the fine tradition of my childhood and keep writing as if nothing was wrong?
Either way, I did neither as I turned to face the onslaught of chemo, liquid diets and getting to know my pharmacist on a first-name-basis. So let’s be honest. It wasn’t you that left. It was me. My daily life and what had been priorities within it were reorganized in the whirling span of a heart beat.
Whether you celebrate the Christian tradition of Christmas or the secular North American version of same, there are so many who don’t celebrate much of anything at all. Sadness, depression or nothing more than a palpable sense of loneliness can easily mute any sound a muffled jingle bell could make. I’ve known holidays like that, but not this year. I have much to be grateful for. I resolve to be better at flexing what I have for Good.
I’m newly reminded and in no uncertain terms that the more you love true, the more it finds you as if it were some kind of heat-seeking boomerang. But isn’t that the contradiction of Love, the more you try to give it all away, the more it keeps showing up.
Case in point: Tomorrow, Rick unwraps Home Cooking, Valerie Bertinelli’s cookbook. A huge fan, he’ll be over the moon when he opens his gift which is most of why I made it happen. It was only later when I realized that someone was going to need to step up and be the test kitchen audience as he begins working his way through the recipes. Swell of me to be willing to step up and take one for the team, eh? It’s not why I did it, but good things can’t help but happen as a consequence.
So think of me this coming Wednesday as I go under the knife. My treatment plan over the next few months is going to be intense, but it’s mine.
As for blogging? I think I’ll just worry about it simply being the best ‘me’ I have to offer. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll see you in 2-weeks time.
In the meantime, ‘I still have one wish to make, a special one for you’, go love somebody. Start with you.
In closing, please accept a few selections from my Christmas Play List. From my House to Yours.
JOHN DENVER & THE MUPPETS — 12 Days of Christmas
JOHN WILLIAMS & THE BOSTON POPS (live) John Williams – Sleigh Ride
CLAY AIKEN — Merry Christmas, with Love
RASCAL FLATTS — I’ll be Home for Christmas
PENTATONIX — Oh Come All Ye Faithful
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA — Carol Of The Bells