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The 1st Christmas



The Christmas season has never felt so dull. Two years ago the words “Stage IV Cancer” hung heavy in the backs of our minds at all times but she was still here. She tried to make Christmas like any other but struggled just to get out of bed as the pain of fluid building up in her abdomen and constant nausea from her bowel blockages were crippling. I went from being just like any other 20-something daughter, growing up, getting nagged about enrolling for my masters, to helping my mom change from one pair of pajamas to the next because she was once again covered in her own vomit. It was humiliating for her and terrifying for all of us. Over the next year she received numerous chemo treatments and was really “doing better” despite the weight, strength and hair loss. Come Christmas 2017 she was more determined than ever to have a special Christmas spent with everyone she loved. She hosted our first ever cookie exchange (which we celebrated again yesterday in her memory) as well as Christmas dinner. Our gifts were perfectly wrapped and thought out as always. She cooked to exhaustion even though she hadn’t eaten in a year. Though she joked the only reason so many people came to her party was because “they knew she was dying” none of us ever truly thought it would be her last. This year we’re going through the motions. I decorated against my dad’s wishes but he ended up being happy with it. He tried so hard to put thought into every gift he picked out, though we all know my mom was the ultimate gift giver. Taking the crew’s Christmas card photo all i could think about was her laugh if i could have been able to show it to her. Sometimes i still feel like there is no way she could really be gone but her urn is both a harsh reminder that she’s not coming back and a comfort knowing we can still have her with us. (And yes, i realize that is probably super weird to most people.) We’re staying busy and are so fortunate to have family and friends to keep us going. It is the downtime that hits the hardest. Tomorrow will be tough so here’s to hoping it goes fast and i may just tote around my own personal bottle of wine for when it doesn’t. 🖤

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