Celebrations

Holiday lit pines replace the wilted corn stalks and brown-topped mums that once decorated our front porch. I relish the subtle move into the Christmas season that I celebrate with family and friends, while hanging on to every note of Christmas music that now plays.

Thanksgiving has come and gone and leaves me with warm and wonderful lasting memories of the day and years gone by. We are fortunate to host the mother of all holidays, and I treasure every moment of time spent making the day all it should be for our family and friends. Preparation for Thanksgiving Day created many last minute trips to the store (and I thought I had done so well on my first trip), which presented lots of opportunities to run in to old friends doing their last minute pick ups as well. They ask how I’m doing and we both know the underlying concern. Am I well? Am I still well? Have there been any changes?

I find it overwhelmingly heartwarming to know so many still care and are concerned when sometimes I briefly forget it was even a chapter in my book. Here I am running around picking up last minute items after countless trips have already been made, when not so long ago, going to store wasn’t even an act I could entertain. I smile wide and tell them confidently, “Yes, I’m great!” I want to add, “And please don’t worry about me because I will always be great. I am fine.”  I don’t want anyone to worry about me.

The week of Thanksgiving also brings my birthday celebration which is, and always has been, an exciting day for me; even before the more dramatic significance it holds now. It saddens me when I hear people say, “I’m not celebrating this year.” Or “I’ve stopped celebrating.” Really? You’ve chosen to not celebrate the last year you’ve been gifted? Nothing in the last 365 days held any significance for you? You can find nothing to be grateful for during that time? And you’re not looking forward to the new year that has presented itself to you? Oh, please change your mind. Please put new thoughts into the air to be whipped up, heard, and sent back to you with love and kindness. You deserve the love. I know many may be kidding when they say it, but why even put it out there for the negative response? Somewhere deep inside it’s a thought, and thoughts become things. We need to choose the good ones.

Excitedly, I celebrated another year, a 48th one to be exact and they just keep getting better. My true inner celebration, however, is the 8th year mark of wellness I will celebrate next month; a new birthday if you will. I’ve shared before and many already know, the medical field notes all survival dates from the date of diagnosis. Medically speaking, I am 8 ½ years cancer free already, but on my day of diagnosis, I was on information overload listening to many things from my doctor and nowhere in our dialogue did he utter, “You’re cancer free!”

Reasonably, I choose to celebrate the day I did hear those words from him when he shook me awake by grabbing my big toe at the foot of my bed saying, “Hey! Wake up, you’re cancer free.” I love him. Steve and I both do. He’s like a celebrity to us and we always say he’d be a great fit in our circle of friends. He’s the kind of guy who is real, honest, and genuine, a guy you can sit down with and enjoy a nice cold beer, tell stories and laugh. Did I mention he’s Irish??? BONUS!

As you move through your holiday season, honoring your celebrations with friends and family, I wish for you peace, love, perfect health, inner calm in its simplest of forms, and the ability to see the silver lining in all that life places before you. You owe yourself that much. Peace.

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