Darkness Doesn’t Defeat the Light

This time of year has been challenging. The lingering wonder every time I see a photo from last year before I found “the lump” how long it had been lurking. Being immediately hurdled back to the loneliness of being stuck in limbo. Having a lump but not knowing for sure, not wanting to worry anyone and still wanting to scream.

Last years memories of the holiday festivities are weighing heavy on my heart. My emotional state being a mix of feeling like someone has scrubbed everything on an old-fashioned washboard, and wrung me out; combined with the frantic frenzy of “I’M FINE, IT’S FINE”. This day 1 year ago I told my parents that I have cancer. My biopsy was confirmed on the 13th with the surgeon, although I didn’t get any official staging. Watching my loved one now going through the exact same thing, and having started chemo two weeks ago is really putting me into a tail spin. As my hair grows in, we are cutting hers awaiting the day it begins to fall to the ground.

Fall last year before the discovery

Combine this with the intriguing juxtaposition of how it already seems odd to see pictures and videos of people in groups, especially without masks. This year feels much like a twilight zone of strange darkness. It feels heavy and hard.

Last years staff Christmas party for the clinic. I had spoken with the surgeon the day before and wanted to maintain a fun and exciting atmosphere for the staff. We touched base as a team a week later.

On paper we have had a really terrible year. Managing these emotions and feelings, not just stuffing them down, has been a big part of living a life that we have enjoyed this year. We are all dealing with a year like no other. Some have greater challenges than others, but collectively we are travelling through the darkness.

It was announced yesterday that for Christmas we will be limited to those in your household only. This brings up so many emotions. “Christmas is cancelled” being a large rhetoric. We are choosing to follow in the lessons from the Grinch

It came without ribbons, it came without bows, it came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe… Christmas perhaps means a little bit more

Dr Seuss

Being able to reframe this particular challenge into something that we can adapt to is important to me in showing resilience to my kids. Having everything changed on your head and not having control doesn’t feel very fun. Just like we tell our kids “you can’t always have what you want”, now we get to practice what we preach.

Thank you to Wollf Prints for these wonderful photos – I live with a bunch of goof balls!

So for us, we are spending time getting to know one another even better. It is time to snuggle in and watch movies, read books, play games, and enjoy the little quirks about each other.

Here’s to baking more banana bread, Christmas cookies and bread. Maybe letting the kids do a whole batch on their own. Having zoom parties, secret Santa’s and spreading joy through our actions and words. Talk about how hard it is. I know we are. Let’s get creative in connecting. Put on a log and start the fire to push out the darkness; perhaps even with hot chocolate bombs all around?

First lock down visits with Grandma and Grandpa

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