Sunday, December 19, 2010
A Christmas letter
Every year I write a Christmas letter of the good things that have happened over the year. Here is this year's. I hope you enjoy!
December 2010, the end of another year, a year just twelve months ago that was brand new and full of hope, joy, and opportunity. And now we are on the verge of another holiday. Thanksgiving is this week, Christmas in a month. And the holidays are all around us. Christmas carols in the stores, plans under way, menus and seating charts, trees to be decorated, presents to be bought and wrapped by hands in cloth, paper and ribbons; expressions of friendship and of love. The weather is changing from summer to winter, and we rush to meet the obligations, the scripts, and the traditions of the season. Then we slip into our nests for the cold and frigid weather. A time to remember, to think of friends, and happy occasions that have come and gone, and to gather our family and loved ones around us. To while away the long dark winter hours with garden catalogs and anticipation of spring flowers.
And what a year I have had. April. 2010. Spring. That is when this journey of mine began. No, that is not when my body started to go rogue and produce cancer. This is not even when I am diagnosed. It is just the first visit to the doctor. When the worse case scenario was maybe an infection. And now here I am almost 8 months later and we now know. I have lung cancer. Stage 4 lung cancer. Sounds pretty scary, but you don’t get to pick which cancer you get. Well, I didn’t. I have been through so many worse case scenarios. Those are done now; it has finally been diagnosed definitively. It has been a journey with lots of twists and turns. A journey shared with all those who chose to come along, to lighten the burden, to experience the love and kindness and sharing that has been expressed this year.
Cancer. It is not a cancelation of a life. It is not the end of a life. It is part of a journey. My life has changed so much this year. From going and doing, and doing, and doing, directing plays, garden circle, work, friends and animals, gardens and community activities. From staying busy to accepting a life learning to balance activity and rest. To appreciate each moment instead of planning over them. To sometimes be so in the moment that the smell and glow of friends over comes me and can be recalled with such perfect clarity in the dark quiet hours of the night. A time to appreciate the strength of the body, the endurance of the spirit, the healing power of love. My body has been poked and prodded, sucked dry and cut into, poisoned and radiated, and here I am. Thinking of you, writing you this end of the year thoughts so that you know that you are in my heart, my mind, my memories. That you are a piece of the strength and love that makes this journey worthwhile. And to know that I am happy. Happy to be alive, to be challenged, to find out how much love and kindness, sweetness and caring there is in the world.
I have had lots of wonderful moments this year, St. George Island with my girl friends, time spent with my family, our team, the Walcoholics - winning the walking competition, work, time at the Opera House, time in my gardens, throwing the ball for Bob, hugging my other “kids”, burying Lily, bless her sweet heart, raising chickens, laughing, putting in an orchard, talking on the phone, drinking wine and eating chocolate, sunsets and full moons. Wonderful moments, small and large, the best shared with beloved ones. And cancer. And I am still me, still strong, healthy and ready to let the doctors fight this battle for me with their WMDs.
And I send to each of you the blessings I send each year. Hold on to each other, love deeply and take moments, just stop, and look around you, and experience the moment, the smell, the light, the feelings, the words, the hugs, the movies in your mind; and hold on to those for the entire year; so this time next year, life will be worth remembering. My year has been full of glorious moments and small quiet moments, and I hope to be better at living this time next year. Come and visit me. It is just a small place, but the magic and blessings over bound. Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, happy holidays, Love sent for the coming year and each moment it holds to each one of you.