Nine years ago today, our nuclear family huddled together, anxiously awaiting Dad’s cancer surgery. A cold he’d caught days prior caused the procedure to be postponed, leaving the four of us alone for the first time in 20 years, sans spouses and kids.
What began as a lump of coal magically transformed into a gift. Loving Pops with hot rum toddies, and bonding over bonspiels helped get him over the hog line. We had nothing but time to offset the pre and post-op mindfuck with the healing powers of frankincense and myrrh. When do you ever get that?
Exactly one year later, we found ourselves hunkered down in a seedy hospital in the freezing white north. The three of us awaited the removal of a metastatic tumor from Dad’s spine. Holding court from a wheelchair, he held strong as head of our Christmas table for one last time.
In 2017, Lori’s husband Scott was diagnosed with terminal cancer and wasn’t expected to make it five months, let alone to Christmas. Morning coffee on the porch, sharing his excitement over the tufted titmouse species, became my favourite part of the day. Once again, we were gifted with a very meaningful extra year of time. Thank you baby cheesus.
Fast forward to Mom, who at 82 years young, had two back-to-back back surgeries leading into the holidays. The following year during covid, she had a boxing day blowout – gallstone style. Knackered on pain meds, but unbeknownst to us, she discovered the blissful intoxication of online shopping. Said packages must’ve fallen off the back of Santa’s sleigh.
Are we jingle bell jaded? A little, but December isn’t about us. ‘Tis the season for comfort and joy, a rarity these days. We’re here giving props to Mary with the cherry, and anyone else out there with their fair share of adversities.
Ho-ho-hold on. Don’t let the grinch steal Christmas, because the hard time you’re going through is quite possibly a blessing in disguise!
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