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Friday, December 18, 2020

How can it be 10 years?

Time can stand still and yet rush by in an instant... it's a truth many cancer patients and their families struggle with.

10 years ago this month we spent our last Christmas with mom.

We just didn't know it.

The smiles speak to the happiness captured as we ringed mom and dad
in front of their Christmas tree that day.
If I close my eyes I can almost reach out and touch her shoulder.

The decade past has not dimmed the light nor the love we feel.
But, seriously, how can it be 10 years?

We had just learned of mom's pancreatic cancer diagnosis the month before and were still processing the implications, settling into a chemotherapy regimen, and getting our bearings.

That Christmas celebration was sweet, yet filled with so many unspoken questions.

We had no way of knowing how hard the battle would become as we smiled for the camera.

       .Mom fought with grace and grit for the entire next year

But the cancer fought harder and in the most cruel of ironies, pancreatic cancer took her from us just weeks before the following Christmas.

We miss mom every day, and so much more even, if that is possible, during this special season of Christmas.

"Mom loved Christmas.  As a matter of fact, as she faced her 1st Year Canciversary, she insisted on decorating the house before Thanksgiving... which was early even by her standards!  She said she just wanted to enjoy the season as long as possible... I wonder if she knew down deep that her days were dwindling.

It puts an ache in my heart to remember walking back into their home the Sunday she passed away, December 4th, to see the Christmas lights twinkling and the ornaments hanging just the way she had placed them... for us.  I know that if she hadn't decorated that tree when she did, we would never have had the strength to do it... But each day of that first December, as we planned a funeral and wrote her obituary, and accepted flowers and food and sweet hugs, the house sparkled with her special touch.  It was small, but it was the nudge I believe she knew we would need...

Keep on Living. Don't forget to Celebrate.
Make. Every. Day. Count."

~ excerpt from Grief and the Holidays

  My Love, Always,


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