So this morning I spent wrapping Pete’s Christmas pressies; and he’s been banned from the house until I’m done cos I can’t trust him not to peek 🙂
But it really got me thinking of just how different things were this time last year…
I had finished my last Red Devil early December and the first of the weekly chemos had been set for Christmas Eve. But despite all the rest I had been doing and the fact that I had just gotten over a cold, those pesky low white blood cells put an end to that! BOY I can remember how upset I was – Chemo was delayed until they showed signs of improvement however long that took!
It meant that Christmas Day was pretty low-key. I was under strict instructions to rest as much as possible, to drink as much fluid as possible to get those suckers up and to avoid anyone who showed any sign of sniffles like the plague. Chemo delays = Delays in the end to Chemo. That was the Maths and only thing I was truly focussed on.
So this morning surrounded by Christmas gift wrap, bows, tags and badly behaved sticky tape, it was almost impossible to reconcile last year’s reality with doing something as mundane and normal as wrapping gifts…
Last year my biggest wish was to finish chemo and return to a life of “normal”, even “boring” would be GREAT, it was something Pete and I almost couldn’t remember and something were really looking forward to experiencing again!
It hit me, as I was trying to untangle my fingers from being wrapped up as part of a gift for the second time, that I hadn’t even realised I had got that wish.
So this Christmas Eve, I am taking time from annoying sticky tape and Christmas wrapping to think of those families who are spending their first Christmas without their fathers, mothers, grandparents, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters – like the families of Bronwyn and Ken. I’m taking time to think of my friend Fynn and his family and those who are right this very moment sitting in lazy boy chairs in Cancer Centres, fighting for future Christmases and wishing for normal and boring lives…
“I didn’t want normal until I didn’t have it anymore” Maggie Stiefvater
“Normal is an ideal. But it’s not reality. Reality is brutal, it’s beautiful, it’s every shade between black and white, and it’s magical. Yes, magical. Because every now and then, it turns nothing into something.” Tara Kelly
“So, this is how it’s become? This is how I’ve become? A walking contradiction? I’m surrounded by people and feel alone. I claim to crave a bit of normalcy but now that I have some, it’s like I don’t know what to do with it, I don’t know how to be a normal person anymore.” Gayle Forman
“My whole life I wanted to be normal. Everybody knows there’s no such thing as normal. There is no black-and-white definition of normal. Normal is subjective. There’s only messy, inconsistent, silly, hopeful version of how we feel most at home in our own lives. But when I think about what I have, what I strived to reach my whole life, it’s not the biggest or best or easiest or prettiest or most anything. It’s not the Manor or the laundry closet. Not the multi-million dollar inheritance or the poorhouse. It’s not superstardom or unemployment. It’s family and love and safety. It’s bravery and hope. It’s work and laughter and imperfection. It’s my normal.” Tori Spelling