Saturday, December 18, 2004

When Christmas itself is a surprise

Christmas is a time of surprises. From the smallest child looking with awe at a stocking filled with candy, to the adult who opens a gift from a loved one that was just right, there are all manner of surprises we experience each holiday season.

But what about when Christmas itself is a surprise?

For the last couple years my mom has been living with my sister in California, while she struggles against lung cancer. I called my mom today, to wish her a happy birthday. Something she said in casual conversation made me pause.

She was talking about adoctors visit earlier this week, her first in 3 months. She has been responding well to Chemo, and they had decided to skip it for a couple months.

The results this week were very positive, and she will apparantly be skipping Chemo for another 3 months.

So while we were dicussing this, she mentioned, as she has before, that she basicially ignores birthdays. But she also said, that this one, and Christmas itself this year, felt just a little strange.

You see, last year at this time, she was fairly convinced she would not see this birthday or this Christmas.

So for her, its not presents or visitors or food that makes her Christmas a surprise, its being here to see it at all.

Its just another reminder for me that Christmas isn't about trees and lights or about music and pagents. Its not just food and candy, and presents and gifts.

This year, its about living, and its about love. Its about rejoicing just to be able to have the ability to rejoice.

I just wanted to pass that on.

Karl