26.12.09

'Tis the Season to be Jolly...

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.


Our house, with our beautiful Christmas lights and snow on the ground! (Sorry for the poor quality, it was taken on my iPhone. Also, this picture doesn't include the beautiful Angel Tree... I was just trying to get the snow on the ground, and this was the part of the house most lit up!)


 Merry Christmas to you all & your families! :)

Pin It

18 comments:

mommablogsalot said...

Merry Christmas Patrice - here's hoping your next one will be old normal again. :O)

JWilson said...

Patrice,
Your writing is beautiful. I too, have a sister that was diagnosed with cancer just before Thanksgiving. Your words... well, I share those exact feelings.

I'm so happy you enjoyed Christmas with Anna and your mom & dad.
Family is so special. What a gift it is to share your strength with extended family. Go and have some fun!

God Bless You,
Jeannie -a friend of your moms

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words from you Patrice. You have grown up so much since I last saw you. You and Anna are lucky to have each other. Sisters truly do share a special bond. Here's to 2010 and a New Year of healing!

Blessings,
Jodie Miller-friends of the Hall's

Lizzie said...

Patrice,
I have only met you a few times. I am Matt Thompson's Mom a friends of Anna's. I have been following your blogs since I learned about Anna. I think you write absolutely beautiful. I think you are a very talented writer. You should be very proud of yourself and your family. Your cross that your family is carrying right now is very heavy. The strength, courage and grace you all demonstrate is very inspiring. I hope you don't mind that I follow you on this journey by reading these. You are a very special girl with an exceptional gift of expressing yourself in words. Hope you have safe travels and enjoy your trip. Wishing you many blessings this New Year. Mrs. Thompson

Anonymous said...

You as usual did a wonderful job. I am so glad I met you and your family 12 yrs ago! Love to each and everyone of you during this difficult time. This will only make your family stronger!! Love you :)

Debbie Waters

Anonymous said...

Great post Patrice. Glad you guys are having a good family Christmas. As always our prayers are w you all.

Charlie Miller

P.S. I follow mckmama on Twitter as we share info about our kids with #CHD. Keep up your blogging...it's great.

Krystyn said...

Patrice. That is so well said. You can really see how much this has made you and your family have to grow together.

Your house looks great...and you know I'm thinking about you.

Sues2u2 said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so glad to hear that some things are "normal" as your family redefines what "normal" is. Hang in there! You & your family are never alone.

Merry Christmas (late but still wished!)

Jenny said...

Patrice...Thoughts and prayers continued your way for your sister and your family.
What a wonderful post and a white Christmas in Texas! Miracles do happen...

Julie said...

Patrice - You don't know me, but I'm an old friend of your mom's from Decatur. I have enjoyed reading through your blogs. You have a very candid way of putting your thoughts and feelings into words and helping us see everything through your eyes and your heart. Thanks for sharing that gift; it is helping all of us walk through it with you. Keep it up and know you and your family will remain in our prayers. . . .
God bless you.
Julie Causey, Decatur, IL

Cammie said...

This was beautiful Patrice. Wishing you and your family a happy new year!!!

Anonymous said...

u should see this[url=http://k.jup.cc]Sexy.[/url]

just some help one more and i get pics unlocked

QM said...

Happy New Year(:

Have a blissful year ahead!

Dee said...

I've been thinking about you and your family and sending prayers your way. Where in SC do your grandparents live?

Anonymous said...

Requirement as in the annual income and the sorts... Plus, what are the reputable forex brokers in Australia?
[url=http://forexrobot-review.info]best forex software[/url] [url=http://www.rockfanclub.net/rockcafe/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2148&p=44541#p44541]unlock iphone[/url]

thegypsymama said...

Ouch, Patrice. That's a hard painful Christmas indeed. But my small words of encouragement would be that the very first Christmas probably had a lot of those same qualities. The Christ child knows where you are at, friend.

Blog at Bardies said...

My son was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma 7 years ago this summer. It was the hardest year of our lives but, thank god, he made it. I'm wishing you and your family the same positive outcome from the other side of the pond. My thoughts and prayers will be with you tonight. We have a 'kick cancer' twitter thing going over here, which is how I found you and your blog.

Twin XL said...

Gosh, the holidays have the potential to be either really good....or really awful.

Related Posts with Thumbnails