Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day….

I have always said that Halloween is my holiday. It is my holiday, I love the costumes, the jack-o-lanterns, the mystery, the veil being lowered between the living and the dead, if even it is only am imaginary lowering. In fact this year there were 13 carved pumpkins decorating my lawn flickering from the windiest Halloween night I can ever recall.

That night, as I sat here, in my vampire costume, talking with my husband, my good friends, with children giggling and eating too much candy in the next room, I declared “Halloween is mine, you all can have Christmas, this one is mine.”

Yet, I am finding myself more filled with Christmas spirit than ever. Holiday music is wafting from the speakers without my husband’s prodding. All my shopping was done early, and with a smile on my face instead of with dread. I have even wrapped quite a few presents already. All of the holiday movies we own, plus ones we have DVR’d have been in heavy rotation for me.

But, it wasn’t until tonight when we were hanging ornaments, and watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and then “Prep & Landing” that I realized what was going on. Me, the self proclaimed Halloween Queen was loving every minute of the Christmas season. The candles, the lights, the sappy movies on TV, the smiles on children’s faces as they count down the days, the smell of pine and gingerbread.

My goodness I am filled with holiday cheer. I can’t wait to take my nephews to the Lodge Christmas party this weekend. The baking that is planned for later this weekend and next week is making me smile instead of dread it all.

It wasn’t until tonight, when Tony and I were sitting in the living room, with the only light in the room being the twinkle for the tree, that it hit me why the Christmas spirit is so much a part of me this year.

Last year at this time I was just a few days home from my Nephrectomy. The pain was still horrid and the large doses of Dilaudid barely put a dent in it. We were awaiting the numbers telling us what my prognosis would be, and also in the countdown to my first post nephrectomy scan already. Cancer was such a large thought in my mind, and the terror that it might be my last Christmas that there was no joy at all.

This year, I am joyful to not only be here, and healthy, for another Christmas but, having cancer seems to have changed me. The delight of the wrappings of the holiday has been reborn in me. Until tonight I had thought of my bout with cancer as having nothing good come of it but, maybe just maybe it did bring back some of the childhood wonder that life tends to beat out of us over time.

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