wide-eyed at 4am

A Different Holiday Season

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As Thanksgiving came and went, I realized that – no matter how hard I try – this is going to be a different holiday season.

Whether it’s seeing relatives who either are seeing me for the first time since I began my journey or seeing those learn or my journey, I feel a little like the topic of conversation and subject of sidelong glances. It’s an odd feeling.

I appreciate that everyone cares and wants to show their concern and may even tip-toe around my feelings, I’d just like for everyone to treat me like they did before…. and that means like I’m the biggest smart so-and-so there (which I usually am).

There is evidence of this. I received not one single sarcastic birthday card but all nice, sweet ones. These are appreciated and I know they are heart-felt. But they are not the usual… some of my family members and I have turned shopping for ¬†appropriately sarcastic birthday cards into an art form.

Now Christmas decorating and baking and singing are in full swing. I have the house decorating almost finished and I’m making good progress on baking some gifts. This year I’m doing a selection of cookies. I did pound cakes for the last two years but cookies seemed a more reasonable goal – considering my work and chemo schedule.

I will wrap gifts this weekend as I finish up the baking. The week of Christmas should be mostly delivering gifts, going to a couple of parties and perhaps visiting some special folks before heading out to spend Christmas Eve with mom and dad.

It’s very strange that I feel the need to de-clutter a bit. I got rid of a second tree that I’ve not used in about 8 years (along with many ornaments used specifically with it) as well as some other decorations that just didn’t really have any meaning to me. We took quite a load to Goodwill. The folks collecting we’ve very excited when they saw the loot.

Other years, I’ve concentrated on doing everything exactly the way that we’ve done it for years. This year, I set some things up differently – on purpose.

Details seem intensely focused this year.

The angels that I began collecting in college are everywhere and I love to look at them whether they are grouped on a shelf playing the roll of the heavenly hosts above the nativity or adorning the tree…

I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m looking at things from a different perspective.

I’m not panicked or stressed about shopping or finishing everything (or maybe this just hasn’t happened yet.) I’m eerily calm.

And I do think this is because of my newly gained perspective. There are things that are more important that getting that gift card right now – like chemo. I’m thankful for an entire new set of “things” – loosely defined as people, incredible doctors, compassionate nurses, treatments, drugs, research, life, keeping my head warm and my fingernails from coming off and between infusion recovery.

Funny how such experiences completely can completely change the way you look at and feel about the status quo.


Author: jillpurdy

A few months ago I wasn't but now I'm a statistic. That doesn't define me. I'm a daughter, a sister, a wife, a step mom, a grandmother, a friend and a Christian. I will continue to love exercise, music, cooking and food, and my family and friends. I'm stubborn, energetic, giving and too OCD for my own good sometimes. And I'm going to stay this way - despite cancer and the treatments that it takes to give it the royal beatdown.

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