Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. It’s a time of magic; a time to be spent with family and friends; a time of joy, of togetherness, and of gratitude. It’s a time where we all come together to celebrate the life we are given and the blessings we are given. The twinkling lights lining the edge of the snow dusted roof tops; the Christmas trees covered in shining ornaments and sparkling tinsel lighting up the windows of the houses we pass by; the festive decorations lined up along the mantle and hung up on the walls; the smell of cookies baking and turkeys roasting; they all set the scene for a picture-perfect holiday.
Leading up to this Christmas, I had mixed feelings. I wasn’t confident it would be a very magical holiday. I expected that it would be a better Christmas than last year when I spent it in the hospital but, after losing my beloved dog, Teddy, my family’s spirits were all a bit dampened. Our house feels lonely without the sound of four little paws running around and it would be our first Christmas without the joy of a dog around.
Shortly after that big loss, I had no choice but to end my doctor-hiatus which contributed to my mixed feelings. Though TPN has changed my life for the better, I wasn’t guaranteed I would continue to receive it after autumn was over so, when I got the call with an appointment to see the doctor who would be taking care of the management of my TPN in early December, I was feeling extra stressed about things. I had a lot of things on my mind from Teddy’s death, to the feeling of impending doom prior to my appointments, to the my joint pain increasing and then catching a viral illness on top of that all; needless to say that, despite looking forward to the holidays, I just wasn’t feeling the “magic” of the season.
As the weeks passed leading up to December, I worked away crocheting and knitting to finish my Christmas gifts. I’d do anything to distract from the grief of my loss and the nerves of my upcoming appointments. The days passed quickly and, eventually, it was time to face my fears and jump back into the medical world. As nervous as I was feeling sitting in that waiting room, I tried my best to go in with a positive attitude. However, I was prepared in case I would need to advocate strongly for myself because I really wasn’t sure how things would go.
This year, despite by doubts earlier in the season, I did get a Christmas miracle. My doctor decided to continue TPN as long as needed. That was the best gift I could ask for. When making up my Christmas list, I had a hard time thinking of material things I wanted or needed. I love finding the perfect gift for others. There’s nothing more special than finding something that you know your friend will love, wrapping it up in pretty paper, and then watching their reaction as they unwrap it. It’s one of the most delightful feelings. However, I was more than happy to receive this gift! As much as TPN scares me, so does this alternative so I was pleased.
Over the last few months, it has sometimes felt as though the whole world was against me, like I have eternal bad luck that will never be resolved, like I was cursed. Getting this piece of good news was exactly what I needed. I feel lighter and happier, the stress of the unknown no longer weighing me down. I was living my life on hold, never knowing whether I would have the treatment I need in the future to keep living my life to the best capacity. Now, I feel like I have a life ahead of me. I can make plans without fear of not having the nutrition I need to complete it.
Christmas miracles don’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be something huge like winning the lottery or getting an expensive gift under the tree. It doesn’t have to be meeting your one true love or connecting with your long lost family. It doesn’t have to be a miracle worthy of a Hallmark Christmas movie or a much-wished cure to an illness. Sometimes it can be the little things that bring immense joy. For me, this year, it is being able to spend Christmas at home with my family without the weight of the unknown sitting on my shoulders. It is being blessed with the gift of modern medicine allowing me to have some quality of life. It is watching a Christmas movie on TV with our tree glowing, gently lighting up the room, enjoying the moment without fear of the immediate future.
When in doubt, when it seems like the world is against you, look for your miracle, don’t just sit passively and wait for it to happen. It’s up to you to look for it and it’s up to you to find it. Just because there are negative things happening in your life, doesn’t mean that miracles can’t happen. Keep your heart open, have a giving spirit, and your eyes open, searching for the positive. You will find a miracle in your Christmas too if you choose to find it. I know it.