We have had the most wonderful Christmas ever...enjoying a healthy family at Christmas-time is something I will never again take for granted. I, yes, the president of the procrastination club that I will start next week, actually finished everything a few days early and just enjoyed being with my family these last few days. If we had a camera in working order I would post some pictures, but we are currently living life without a camera (GASP).

I love everything about Christmas. I love the shopping, the togetherness, the celebration of Christ, the traditions, I am crazy about Christmas. Every year seems to add a new tradition, and it does get crazy, but nothing melts my heart more than this from my 14 year old daughter. "I LOVE Christmas, not even because I get stuff, I just love the 'feeling' I get when the season starts and we start our Christmas traditions." This is the first year she gets that Christmas "feeling", I guess the feeling of home...that's what it feels like for me. I always remember Christmas being such a happy, special time growing up and I want my kids to have that same feeling when they are grown. So that made me really happy. Tonight all my kids said this was the best Christmas ever. I hope they will say that every year.

I do want to share one of my highlights this season, because it really put life into perspective for me. Some of my cancer-mom friends and I went to the hospital to give a little gift bag to the families staying in-patient at the hospital on the cancer floor. When we got there, we were going to just drop by the gifts to those we knew there and say hi, then leave the rest with the nurses to give out. One of the mom's suggested we just poke our heads in the rooms and leave it ourselves (with the nurses permission, of course...). It's always hard because there are times at the hospital you just want your privacy, and there are times you are desperate for a visitor. So we tried to read the families as best we could. I left there so humbled, and it brought me back to that period of our lives. As we went to the rooms and learned about each family, an overwhelming sense of love for those families consumed all of us. One woman in particular who I will probably never seen again, but that I will not ever forget, was staying here from Idaho. She reluctantly let us in, and we talked a little at first and the more we spoke the more she opened up. Her 12 year old daughter had been battling a disease for 4 years (it was not cancer, but she was on the cancer floor because she had just undergone a bone marrow transplant). She was so sweet, and she talked to us about desperately needing a support system but that she couldn't afford the internet to get on any type of group. She just needed so badly to let out her emotions and frustrations to someone who understood. After we spoke for a few minutes we said our goodbye's. As I turned to follow out my friends she grabbed my arm, and quietly asked if she could give me a hug. We embraced, and she began to cry. She cried in my arms for a long time, and I felt something in her hug. It was the weight of the world, and it was on her shoulders. I muttered out the only words I could find, that she was thought about this holiday by people who cared about her and her family. We hugged again and said goodbye, but I couldn't possibly describe the connect we felt from one person who needed a shoulder to cry on to another who had one to give. I remember needing that but always being too embarrassed to ask for it. I was amazed that she was willing to ask a complete stranger to be that for her. She was lovely. That would be enough to make my Christmas, but wait.....there's more.....As we were leaving one of my friends came up and said "the woman from the room we were just in came out and gave me this and asked that we use it to continue this type of thing for others going through this." It was her, the woman who couldn't even afford internet, and she had given us an envelope with $80 in it. That she could wrap her brain around giving to help someone else at that time in her life was incredible.

We met so many new people that night, from a mom whose daughter had just been diagnosed two weeks ago, and also needed a hug (which she got from my lovely friends) to a mom with a new baby whose 2 year old son had just relapsed the week before after already going through chemo last year. We saw some kids and mom's we know and love. None of us wanted to leave, it weighed so heavily on our hearts, yet lifted them at the same time. I came home feeling so sad, yet so very grateful. I remember during Brinley's treatment how badly I wanted people to know what a blessing it was to have a healthy family. It reminded me that I have that, and I thank them for doing that for me. And I think of them so much, and I cry for them and I pray for them. I am a quiet gal, and don't always say or do the right things like I wish I did, but I know so many people struggling this year and I hope they know that they are in my heart, even if I am not perfect at expressing it.

I hope this season brought you joy and peace. It was a wonderful year for us. Merry Christmas.


Dani said...

You warm my heart!

Briana said...

kristin, your thoughts are absolutely beautiful! i love reading your posts.

thanks for capturing the feelings of such a tender night. it was an honor to be there. i'm so glad to know all you ladies!

Carl and Starla said...

This really touched my heart...I know that you are a blessing to so many, not just the families you can help by listening and understanding since you have been where they are now. You have blessed my life in so many ways and you continue to do so through this blog by inspiring me to look on the bright side of things and seeing my many, many blessings in my life. Also, this blog has taught me to be more aware of those around me and the struggles they may be going through. Thank you.