Wednesday, December 24, 2014

To not miss it - Merry Christmas

Today is Christmas Eve and right now I am up early while my parents are still sleeping....

Two nights ago my dad and I bundled up in warm clothes and went for a walk. It was pitch dark outside.  When I asked if we should bring a flashlight he said we would not need one. He explained that our eyes would adjust. My dad. Just like that, trusting the skies and the stars. It was chilly but we walked for over an hour. Walking we reflected on the past few months.  How much has changed, what is on the horizon and how grateful we are that I get this time at home before I have to start the next thing. Christmas happens to fall right in the middle of it all.....

Twelve weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In two weeks time, I will start twelve weeks of chemotherapy. Come April, should everything go along smoothly, I will complete my reconstruction surgery. So much is ahead...

As we walked we would stop and stare up to the skies. My dad would point out constellations and I would just gaze in wonder. As I looked up it was as though I was looking back in time. I remember a time when I was little, my dad drove me to a park and we laid on the hood of his car, staring up to the sky. Such a sweet memory.

As much as my perspective has changed because of cancer.... so many days I find myself longing for the way things were.

This year my immediate family will be celebrating Christmas together. My sister and her husband, celebrating a last christmas before they become parents to a little boy..... My mom and dad, celebrating as soon to be grandparents..... and me, a soon to be breast cancer survivor and aunt.

We indeed have so much to be grateful for.

I want to thank all of you who have already seen me while I am visiting home. Those of you that I have not seen in so many years. Your kind words, your prayers and simply the hugs are so appreciated. Those of you sharing my story, asking others for prayers thank you.

In a few weeks time I will experience what it is like to have everyone in on your story, even when you don't want them to be. Baldness, invites others in and I am afraid. No more hiding.  My desire for when this day comes, is that I can embrace others faces, and stares just as I am embracing the hugs from all of you wanting to wish me well. I hope that my face and my smile demonstrate hope. The hope that I have. That in the end everything is going to be ok..... That my heartbreak now, will soon mend. That I will not be defined by cancer nor will I allow it to steal my joy.

I have been meaning to share this as well. If you see me, or give me a hug, and you start to cry..... know that your tears are welcomed and even appreciated. Being the recipient of others tears is one of the most humbling gifts. To know that I am wept for. That others are hurting with me. What a gift. I am humbled that my story, that my words bring you to tears. What an honor.

Thank you for crying..... you have my permission to cry. I cry all the time and I don't think anyone should cry alone.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I did not consciously make a plan how how I would go about doing cancer. I don't remember choosing whether I would be angry or joyful..... but I do remember this. I met a friend over a beer, two weeks after my diagnosis. We talked about it all. What it meant, what would happen. This particular friend posed the question, "What do you hope for in all of this?"

I sat and pondered his question and then began to speak, "To not miss it". Puzzled he looked at me and I went on further to explain. "I dont want to miss what he is doing in all of this, with my story, with breast cancer. Things like this don't just happen and I am confident he is going to do something. Teach me things, change me, change others and I dont want to be on the other side and have missed it. So I want to be present in it. Cry, laugh, and embrace the journey of breast cancer....I don't want to miss it."

Today that wish and that hope have not changed. I am fighting for the present. The present that is today and live in what tomorrow is, when tomorrow comes. 

Merry Christmas to you and your family wherever you are..... to my many friends around the world that I have had the privilege of meeting in my travels I am sending my love and joy to you as well. Tomorrow, I plan to drink central american coffee, share gifts with my family, drink some colorado brew and set my phone away for the day. I don't want to miss Christmas either.

Love Kristina

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.Matthew 2:10 

***Below are some pictures from the Louisville game last night with my family.

2013 National Championship Trophy, the one my Honduran classroom cheered so well for.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you don't mind, because I have cried oh-so-many tears for/with you, friend. I love you and I hope you'll let me know if there's anything I can do to help. MERRY CHRISTMAS!