Christmas 2018…

We had such a nice Christmas this year. Not that every year isn’t nice, but this one was especially so. We are settled in our new house, making it our first Christmas here, AND Frank’s brother, my sister, and our son came to spend the holiday with us. I love when my house is full of energy, conversation and love.

Topher arrived ahead of everyone, which was nice that he and Frank got some one-on-one time before everyone else arrived. I have to say, I scored in the brother-in-law department. Christopher is a great guy. Smart, witty, laid back. I always enjoy the conversations between us.

Cathy came in on Friday. She was so excited to join us. Last year she was so sick she couldn’t fly. She was sick this year, too, but hid it from everyone back home so they wouldn’t get in her way of celebrating. To be fair, for those who may not be in the know, my older sister is mentally challenged and functions around an 8-12 year old level emotionally. She’s sly like a fox and when she wants something she will do whatever it takes to get it. And by “it” this time I mean coming to Charlotte to see us. Because of the way Cathy processes grief and difficult news, we opted not to share my cancer with her. Her former roommate passed away from breast cancer some years back and that’s her up close experience with it. No need to drudge up sad feelings, that and Cathy doesn’t move on easily. She is still mourning the fact that we no longer own my mother’s car. Mom passed in 1999 an her car died in 2002. Time stands still in some ways for Cath. I’m ready to move on from my cancer; Cathy would be lingering over it for months or years to come. That’s a long way of saying, she didn’t know my resources would be down by coming to us with a chest cold. Knock on wood, so far so good. I have narry a whisper of illness.

On Saturday, we went bowling. That was super fun. My sister has been bowling on the regular since I can remember. She has her own shoes and bowl back at home. My husband is pretty fancy with the pins himself and came in first with Cathy behind him. I love our little town and the small bowling alley we have. Though it was hopping that day for sure.

That afternoon Kenzie, Cathy and I ran out to get some last minute gifts and wound up stopping at Lowe’s and low and behold, who should we see but Santa. Turns out my sister is a total fan girl! LOL.

She ran straight up to him yelling, “Santa!!” She couldn’t have been happier or more excited. We all grabbed a few pictures and then finished our errands.

Jake came in late Saturday night. I haven’t slept that well in months. Having everyone I love safely under one roof.

Sunday we rose and went to church. I had been asked a few weeks before to record my testimony to use during Christmas services. It was being played during the worship portion of the service. I didn’t tell anyone. It was priceless to see Cathy’s face light up when I came on the big screen. (It’s in edited form here for anyone who is interested. It is in two parts joined by a really beautiful song – only the song here will have queues for our worship team so if the clicking, etc. bothers you, you can FF past it.)

After church it was back home for some much needed nap time. Jake and Kenzie hung out, which was great. Hearing their laughter and banter was music to my ears. Later that afternoon we joined my friend, Alisha, who happens to be an amazing photographer, and had our family pics done. Some in nice clothes, some in our “ugly” sweaters. So much fun!

Monday, Christmas Eve, was my last radiation appointment (see previous post) and that was about the sweetest of all Christmas presents. Later in the day we made cookies to decorate, Cathy put out the magic reindeer food, and off to bed everyone went.

Christmas morning, I enjoyed a few minutes of quiet reflecting by our tree. I am truly grateful for so many things this year. Friends, new and old, our new home, our family being together at this time, being cancer-free, and most importantly, my faith and love of our Savior. I have been truly blessed.

With Christmas passed, I am looking forward to 2019. I can’t wait to see all that life has in store for us in the coming year.

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