My Christmas tree is still shining in my living room. This is a first for me. I was always one of those people who put it up Thanksgiving weekend and took it down the weekend after New Year’s Day. The tradition was ingrained, like never wearing white shoes before Memorial Day. However, there is a method to my madness.
Shortly before Christmas, I found out I have cancer. Kind of like: What did YOU get for Christmas, Sandi? Oh, I got cancer and a really cool pair of sneakers. How about you? This year, our children all got together to make this a wonderful day for us. They brought food. I didn’t get up at 4 AM and put the turkey in the oven. We all sat around the tree, opened presents and spent a couple of hours just enjoying each other and the spirit of the day. It was one of the most beautiful Christmas Days I have ever had.
As the New Year came, I looked at my tree and decided that I didn’t want to take it down. Not just yet. I loved seeing the twinkling lights. I loved looking at the different ornaments and remembering who gave them to me and when. I loved bathing in the glow before sunrise, thinking about my granddaughter’s first Christmas and how she smiled and charmed us all. Why should I put these feelings in a box in the attic?
Overriding tradition was not easy. But I considered what Christmas really means to me. Not just presents, but the promise of rebirth that I was taught as a child. The magic of shared happiness and a time when we all put aside any sad feelings to join in the spirit of love and giving is a powerful vision. I figured that the best gift I could give myself was to keep this as a reminder of my own rebirth, as the chemotherapy destroys the cancer in my body. The promise of a fresh new start on an already full life and a reason to have a positive thoughts every morning was irresistible.
Now, as I wake before dawn, my first steps take me to the tree, and I switch on the lights. I allow myself to take in the twinkle and glow. I remind myself that new beginnings are always possible, and magic is real and working in the world around me. I renew my faith and my pledge to believe and stay touched by the positive glow of my Christmas lights, as I go for every treatment.
My tree will continue to shine its light on me until the day I hear the word “Cured”. I can’t promise I will put it away even then. Keeping magic alive seems like a really good way to live!