The Holiday Spirits

I’ve been a mute blogger lately. There have been some good days and some bad days. As always, my sweet Lettie is bringing me joy times a million.

Overall, I think I’m doing ok.

The holidays, though. Oh, the holidays. On the one hand, I’m incredibly excited for Christmas. Lettie sill has no idea who Santa is, but she’s going to love all the boxes and wrapping paper. I have no doubt that she’ll get caught up in the happy energy of Christmas morning. I can’t wait for that.

On the other hand, these December days are dark. They are literally dark, of course, thanks to the approaching solstice, but they are also dark inside my mind. Despite the beauty of the season, it feels like a season of missing to me. Missing my mom, who I spent every Christmas with for 35 years. Even her last Christmas, a Christmas that included an ER visit because she couldn’t stop vomiting, was still better than the alternative—her not being here at all.

Then there’s Gabriel. I should have been about six months pregnant now. I should have a big pregnant belly. I should have spent this season dreaming of what it was going to be like when our family welcomed a new member in a couple of months. I should have had a newborn this April.

But Alas. I was not meant to spend this Christmas with my mom or with a baby growing safe inside of me. If I were, they would both be here with me. Not meant to be, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t miss them, ache for them, cry for them.

I love my family. I’m grateful for them, always. I look at Lettie in wonder every day. How is she here with me, in this world where life is so fragile? How did I get so lucky? But underneath all that gratitude is a sadness so wide and deep that it takes my breath away.

Even if you’re not a Christian, the story of Jesus is still a beautiful story of enduring love. Christmas honors His birth—a day full of joy, no doubt. But Jesus left this world too soon, long before the world was ready to say goodbye. Many grieved His passing, but the truly faithful believed—and still believe—that He was still with them. They knew that His love was not lost.

I love my mom. I love Gabriel. If I didn’t love them so much, I wouldn’t be so heartbroken. And somewhere in this great big universe, they love me right back. That’s the thought I’m holding onto in the middle of all this sadness: their love is not lost.

True love never is.

Rightwood Update

My mom had a billion tests last week to measure how her treatments were working. And the results are in.

Drumroll please…

1. It was determined that she did not actually have a stroke. All of her symptoms were caused by a bone spur in her shoulder. I’m not sure what a bone spur is, but it’s definitely better than a stroke.

2. All of her tumor markers went down. Again, even after asking my mom, I’m still not sure what a tumor marker is, but I can assure you this is a very good thing.

3. The tumors in her chest and abdomen have not progressed. Halt, bitches!

4. The tumor in her left hip has shrunk. The tumor in her right hip has disappeared. That’s right, I said disappeared.

The only thing that’s not under control yet is the skin cancer, but the doctor’s are not as concerned about that because it’s not life threatening. The next course of action is to do two rounds of chemo pills (to hopefully get that skin cancer busted up) and then go back to the hormone treatments.

How am I feeling right now? Grateful. Grateful to all you for your thoughts and prayers. Grateful to my mom for being such a fighter. And grateful that we got this wonderful news just before Christmas. I couldn’t have dreamed-up a better Christmas present.