Christmas Blessings

Living and Laughing through a Blood Cancer

by Marielle Lanoir

It is hard to believe that Christmas is this week.  Three years ago I would have provided Craig with a list of items I so “desperately” needed.  Probably another purse, perfume or some other vital item I had to have to get through the following year.  Oh how that has changed over the past 2 years.  This is our 3rd Christmas with me being ill.  Each year our view of the holidays changes a bit more.  Some may say for the worse, some may say for the better. We say for the better.  It is almost as though we live the real life version of the christmas song “Grown Up Christmas List”…though we are far from wishing for world peace and for everyone to be friends, because lets face it…that is not going to happen…it is an unattainable thing, and without some adversity what would the morning news be comprised of?…global warming issues?….where the Obama’s are vacationing?…HealthCare Reform updates? more opinions about Duck Dynasty Stars?…Shoot me now…

marielle_lanoir_and_husbandAlbeit, the holidays are a stressful time.  There is a reason the liquor stores have open hours on Christmas Eve…and the day after Christmas.  Its not only for their monetary benefit, but for most individuals their own psychological benefit.  I am not saying everyone should be three sheets to the wind for the next 48 hours, but sometimes 1 sheet to the wind might help.  The other day when I went into the local liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine to give as a gift, it was like a scene from Doomsday Preppers…only individuals were not buying water and batteries, they were stocking up on Merlot and cheap Chardonnay, all with very intense and daunting looks on their faces…

Since becoming ill, our lives have not only changed, but our opinions, views and outlooks on certain aspects of life have changed as well.  Most pile in the car and drives miles, or frantically hop from house to house visiting individuals that they do not speak with 364 days of the year, but simply must see 1 day a year….on Christmas.  However, for us it is different.  We do not look for gifts 1 day of the year, we are blessed and thankful for the gifts we receive throughout the year.  It is the small things for us…(though my husband would argue I do need new gym socks this year for Christmas as I am continually stealing his)….We feel blessed with:  A great doctors appointment.  A week without any worries. A wonderful weekend catching up with friends.  Witnessing close friends getting married.  Watching our siblings grow up and become young adults.  Seeing my loving family every day (though a bit Everybody Loves Raymond, we wouldn’t change it for the World).  These are our gifts throughout the year.  We do not need to unwrap anything on Christmas morning to feel blessed.

For those of you that are ill, I am 100% sure it is safe to say the one thing you want for Christmas can not be wrapped up and placed under the tree…The gift of your health back. A gift many take for granted.  However, be thankful for what you have and take thanks in the small things, and the hope of what the New Year has to bring.  And if your worried about missing Aunt Bethany’s Christmas party, despite not seeing or speaking with her all year, don’t worry about it….what is the worst thing that could happen?  She doesn’t speak to you for another 364 days of the year…until next Christmas?…

Christmas is about being thankful for the other 364 days of the year, not just December 25th….your gifts and blessings are the people and things that are there for you throughout the year, not just on December 25th or under the tree with a bow on it.

Thank you Marielle for sharing your outstanding holiday story!  If you would like to read more from Marielle’s blog, you can find her Miraculously Ill blog here.

About David Wallace

Founder of PV Reporter, a resource for Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) patients and caregivers. After being diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV) in 2009, I utilized social media to connect with "informed patients" and develop a better understanding of emerging treatment options. My philosophy on patient care is straight forward - "educating the patient is essential, so the patient can guide their physician to meet his or her needs." PV Reporter is a comprehensive resource hub giving visitors vital tools to become "empowered patients."

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