Monday, December 21, 2009

The Star

This year I decided not to have a Christmas Tree. And then I decided to have one. Then I changed my mind again...... and again. Last night my daughter went to the store and saw a cute lonely little Christmas Tree, standing all by itself outside the door. It's just not possible to leave a tree out there all by itself like that in the cold! So off sweet Frank tootled to pick it up for me - as he says, he "trudged 5 miles in 4 foot of snow in subzero temperatures, uphill both ways", to get that tree for me..... all said with a wicked smile :) And so our tree came home.

It stood there in front of the fireplace, warming itself up and getting used to its new home while I sat eyeing it wondering just when I was going to work up the enthusiasm to put its Christmas clothes on.... And so the evening went by until I was ready to go to bed. Then I heard this little voice from the kitchen; it was faint, but definitely calling my name........ it was the sound of the beautifully chilled wine in the fridge singing in tune with my happy little wine glass. Again, can one resist such beautiful things? And then I saw that an episode of House had just started on tv, and I had not seen this one.

That program fascinates me - not for the normal reasons but because it seems to me that an incredible amount of false dx's are made and huge and dramatic treatments done or suggested at times and then so often, all is solved in a relatively simple way right at the end. I like the relatively simple fix, just not all the other options that seem to loom around every corner. Anyway - its interesting. Occasionally Dr House seems to flippantly demand a bone marrow transplant and I cringe........ that easily? Wow....... ya, ya, I know it's just the movies, but still.

Ok - back to the still naked Christmas Tree. What with House fixing people and a sparkling glass of wine I decided that I would dress the Tree and I was surprised at what happened.

My very first Christmas Tree in my very first apartment, which was a million years ago, was a special tree, an irreplaceable excitement and proof that I had grown up! I was 19 years old and had my very own Christmas tree......proof! The others that followed marked the years passing by, the first tree after Steven was born, then Lisa's first tree, then the first tree with Joleen too - all three kids together. As with most people, putting up the Christmas Tree became a tradition, something that simply gets done, something that is part of Christmas time and almost a chore......something that must be squeezed between everything else that needs to be done around this time of year.

I remember happy Christmas Trees, many obligation Christmas Trees, a particularly sad one and another that made me sob with every decoration I added. Then came a Christmas tree that was dressed with happiness again.... that was just a mere year ago.

And this year - this year was just lovely. I realized that I am no longer dressing a tree for anyone, from any obligation, for anyone or even the time of year. I looked at that naked tree, breathed deeply the fresh pine smell that oozed out of every limb and I smiled. I turned her around finding her best face and started..... Each bauble found it's home naturally, each light lay gently on a branch and lit the deep inside of the tree and added multiple color sparkles to the tinsel.... The little gifts that represent so many of my good and wonderful, strong and lovely friends nestled easily on the branches ....... my tree just came alive! She sparkled with life...... what a lovely surprise!

As I added the pretty things to her and the sounds of the tv faded way into the distance, I thought of all those that have come into my life in the last few years - the very real gifts - and how they have not only enriched me, but those around me too. I have learned so much, been humbled so many times, grown in leaps and bounds beyond what I thought possible and have learned to treasure every day. I have left my comfort zone so many times in these past almost 4 years since Steven was diagnosed with CML and have found this to be incredibly rewarding. I have learned to be happy, really happy.

And now, after a good many years and a good many changes in those years, I have found a place where putting up a Christmas Tree is something I already look forward to doing again next year. I see that this has become a tradition just for me..... I loved the thoughts that happened as I let my mind wander and watched how that naked, cold tree that waited just for me, turned into this beautiful Christmas Tree that just sparkles with joy and happiness.

I love the star the most of all the decorations. Many years ago when the kids were still kids and we could just not find that star that was perfect, Steven and his cousin James, got hold of a couple of coat hangers, some tinsel and an angel - and they made the very best Star possible. It makes me smile every time I look at it. It makes me thankful for the years that were easy, the years when cancer was not a player and for the years that led me to here, for the people and the circumstances that have helped me and walked with me during these times to the place I am now. It makes me thankful for all the years..

So with a very happy smile, a wonderful peace in my heart, a deep thankfulness for everyone in my life, I wish all of you a wonderful Star of your own. I wish you peace and gentle voices in your head, love and a simply wonder-filled Christmas.

Love and light

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