I’ve been doing some comparing this weekend. I have been comparing this Christmas season to last Christmas season. I believe I can honestly say last year was the worse Christmas I can remember having. To be completely honest with you I don’t really even remember much of it. I don’t even remember Christmas Day at all. That has nothing to do with my chronic illnesses. After having foot surgery on my right foot the first part of December I thought our holiday season was gonna be spent with me on bed rest with a cast and crutches and everyone waiting on me hand and foot. Little did I know that that was gonna be the least of my concerns although the cast and crutches part was true. After the first week I didn’t get a chance to spend much time in bed. If you are a regular reader of mine then you know that the last year has been the biggest battle in my family’s life.
Christmas is usually the season of peace, goodwill and spending time laughing and enjoying family. Last year that isn’t quite how our Christmas turned out. My dad’s holiday season was spent in and out of ambulances, hospital rooms and ICUs. And ours was spent on the road – sometimes with very little notice – between Nashville and Dayton, Ohio with my casted foot propped up on the dashboard. Yes I was supposed to on bedrest with my foot elevated. I spent most of that time with it elevated in a wheelchair being pushed around the hospital and sitting next to my dad’s bedside or in a waiting room.
I won’t repeat a lot of what most of you already know about my dad’s battle with the papillomas on his voice box and later his cancer there. If you aren’t familiar with it you can do a search here on my blog for articles titled My Dad, My Hero. There are 5 parts that explain it all in detail. But just as a quick recap for those who are not familiar with it, we found out months after his breathing difficulty symptoms began that he had a growth behind his vocal chords that blocked his airflow. So, he wasn’t able to breath very well. His oxygen levels would drop. His respiratory rate would drop. There were a number of times that Mom was not able to wake him up – off to the hospital they would go. Mom would call us and we would take off up there. It is a 5 1/2 hour drive. I spent most of those miles on those trips praying and pleading with God to let him live long enough for me to get there. Yes, I had a foot in a cast, was on one leg and crutches but when your dad is in the situation mine was in none of that matter.
The one blessing during all of this time was that my Fibro was so far on the back burner in my mind that my physical health was of very little concern to me. I don’t recall a single flare up that lasted for any sizable period of time. I think I was working and running off of pure adrenaline. Our personal family – Ron, me and the kids – spent our time coordinating traveling and school schedules. We tried to make sure the kids didn’t miss very many days of school. But at the same time my dad’s health was on such shaky ground that we weren’t sure school was the most important thing at the time. Family in Ohio or school in Nashville – which was most important?
As you can see last Christmas wasn’t spent in much of a peaceful state of mind. I don’t recall shopping, decorating or even opening presents. I think God understood. We were all staying in pretty close contact with Him every day anyway. I think all of this is why this year my Christmas spirit is so much higher than it has been in years – not just last year – but in any year that I can recall. I have a tender spirit for the gift that God sent us in His Son 2000 years ago. This year I have been loving every part of the season – the music, the lights, the decorations and today’s snow fall. We are all so thankful for sparing my Dad’s life. It makes this year so much sweeter. We have so much to be grateful for. So many blessings to count. We realize that it’s not about us. It’s about God being in control of our lives and focusing on what He has done for us. While last year was the worst Christmas I can remember ever having in my life it is one that I won’t soon forget because of how God worked through it. He showed us that He is sovereign and that He hears us when we pray. He answers our prayers. He doesn’t always answer us the way that we want but I am reminded every day that all of the prayers sent to Him this time last year were. I am thankful for His listening ear. No matter what else is going on in the world He is never too busy to listen to us. It certainly makes this season a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS INDEED!!