written December 23, 2010
The sun rises, narrow ribbons of pink in the East. Clouds cover most of the sky, but so far no rain. It’s warm here by the heater in my usual place near the front of the light rail car, close to the driver. My last radiation treatment of the week! Then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! I have lots of cooking yet to do, a few things to wrap, grocery shopping to do. But I know it will all get done. I am excited about Christmas, ready to celebrate.
This Christmas will not be like most Christmases for me. Only one son home for the big day, a live-in sister-in-law, and, of course, cancer. They say something like cancer makes you appreciate each day more and notice the little things around you. I thought I already did that, and yet, I do see a change. Riding the train, I enjoy watching the subtle nuances of dawn, as each day arrives in a slightly different manner. I marvel at shifting cloud patterns and the geometric beauty of buildings we pass, even those marred by graffiti.
And most of all, I treasure the deep, inner joy I feel, a gift above all gifts that brings sudden tears to my eyes. “Lord, why me?” I ask “What did I do to deserve this?” And I don’t mean the cancer, beast that it is. I mean the joy, the comfort, the peace that passes understanding. I did nothing to deserve such gifts, yet they have been freely given. Much like the gift of the first Christmas day– a gift so precious that no one could ever earn it, and yet available to all. Even me.
And so, on this quiet winter morning, I wish for all the true joy and peace of Christmas!