It’s Christmas time, and as the song goes, it’s the time to be jolly, right? Well needless to say, we haven’t exactly spent the last couple of months at my house being “jolly”, nor has it been easy to jump right into the Christmas spirit. When someone you love is sick, it’s hard sometimes to focus on other things, and it's too easy to focus so much on the fact that it sucks that Anna is sick, so we might forget how much we have to be grateful for.
This Christmas is certainly not a “normal” Christmas. Our Christmas tree is a tiny, fake tree and is pretty much ornament-less. Our house is not decorated for Christmas, like it has been every other year. My sister is certainly not feeling “normal” with her hair falling out and battling nausea off and on. The fact that our family has been in and out of the hospital in the last couple months is certainly not normal. The fact that we didn’t manage to send out Christmas cards to friends in family is certainly not normal. The fact that we never made it to church is not normal. The fact that I am traveling by myself this Christmas to visit family instead of our whole family going is not normal.
However, even though we have these abnormalities this Christmas, there is so much greatness this season. The fact that we have so many people praying for my sister and our family; friends, family and even strangers. The beautiful tree in our front yard, Anna’s “Angel Tree” started by dear friends to surprise Anna when she came home one night, covered in ornaments donated by friends and family to symbolize their prayers. The fact that although the inside of our house may be lacking Christmas decorations, that our house is lit up beautifully on the outside, a wonderful gift of time and effort by the amazing people and family my dad works with. The fact that my sister is home, and feeling mostly good and can celebrate Christmas like normal and not in the hospital. The fact that even though Santa’s elves in our house have been a little busy as of late, Santa still managed to come to our house, and bring great joy to us all. The fact that thanks to a great bloggy friend we are sending happy new year cards, and spreading the knowledge that 2010 is going to be a great year of healing for us. The fact that I am able to go to South Carolina to represent our family and celebrate the season with my grandparents, cousins, Aunts and Uncles. The fact that we are all together, that we have each other. That we experienced the first White Christmas in Dallas in 83 years, which as a great family friend pointed out is the sign of miracles.
I remember reading MckMama’s blog back when her baby son Stellan was so sick, and her post about their families “new normal”. A lot of that is what we are experiencing now. Although a year ago, this Christmas would not be considered normal, this is our new normal. We are learning to roll with the punches, play the hand we are dealt, make lemonade out of the lemons we’ve been dealt. This is a new, but temporary, normal. This is normal for now, and with God’s help, next year at this time things will be back to the old normal. All the familiar signs of the season will be back, and all the signs of a family struggling through a hard time will just be memories of this year.
Most importantly, we had a wonderful Christmas Eve and a wonderful Christmas, spending quality time just the four of us, enjoying amazing meals, and just enjoying each others company. That is reason enough, in my opinion, to be jolly this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas to you all & your families! :)