Christmas 1989 I shall never forget. It was my worst Christmas and yet it was my very best and most blessed Christmas I ever had. How can that be, you may ask...well I'll try to explain.
In March of 1988 I had been diagnosed with stage IIA Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer, this is a type of cancer of the lymph nodes. I received 3-4 months of daily radiation treatments and was then declared in full and complete remission.
By March of 1989, the cancer had reoccurred in my right chest wall. A full 12 month regimen of chemotherapy was initiated consisting of 8 different chemo drugs, some given daily and some every two weeks. My hair turned purple (from Adramycin) and then fell out. I became severely bloated and moon faced from the steroids they were giving me. My strength was totally gone and I had become anxious and depressed. The realization hit me, that it was quite possible, I might not ever get to spend another Christmas with my family again. I truly did not know if I would live to see another day, never mind another Christmas!
....And yet in spite of all the uncertainty of that Christmas, a deep realization of appreciation began to set in within my heart, for each and every single moment spent with my children, husband, & family. I just cherished the moments and enjoyed them all, so profoundly, knowing that next Christmas might not be the same. I began to truly identify with each any every person who were suffering as I were. I felt so blessed to be alive!!!
It's been 19 years since that Christmas of 1989, it seems to me as if it were just yesterday still. It amazes me everyday that I'm still here, and to say I'm thankful is a huge understatement.
I was blessed to have all my children and their families here tonight, all under one roof...MY roof... for the space of a few hours. Outside of the birth of our dear Lord & sweet Saviour Jesus, there is no better Christmas present for me! It seems our times of getting everyone together at one time, get fewer and far between as the years go by, so I'll continue to cherish the moments,...each and every moment, hour, day, month and year.
Take a deep breath... be thankful for life. Hug and hold those near and dear to you...if they are not here with you physically, then close your eyes and hug and hold them in your heart...tightly. Tell them you love them. Thank God for another Christmas and thank Him for sending that baby in a manager so long ago, our Lord and Saviour.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, FROM MEMAW'S HOUSE TO YOURS!