Thursday, November 26, 2009

What truly matters

I’m not necessarily a ‘happy holidays’ sort. My husband was first diagnosed with cancer just before Thanksgiving of 2000. It’s a little hard to be cheery when the future is a black hole. But it’s the holiday season. We are given no choice but to carry on like a good little soldier. So, okay, I’ve sometimes failed miserably at that the last nine years.

Hope springs eternal, though, and this year I approach the dreaded six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas in a calmer state of mind. My love has been cancer free for over three years now, and while we will never be free of the specter of it recurring, we have learned what is important, and what simply matters not. And all the trappings of the holiday season matter not.

Today we will drive to my sister-in-law’s home for an almost traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I’m sure all her dishes will be on the ‘healthy’ side, but that’s okay. My sweet potato pie has been ‘lightened up’, too. All that really matters is we’ll all be at the table together. Laughter, and wine, will flow.

Tomorrow, Black Friday, I won’t venture out of the house unless my mother calls needing help with something at her home. My hubby and I have been discussing the yearly decorating binge – as in does it really matter? Who do we do it for? Us? Others?

I agree, in principal, that I should cut back a bit. I’d like to think our holiday visitors are here to see us and not the glittering tree. But a strange thing is happening inside me. I’m eager to see those sparkling lights. I want to hang the garland around the room, and line up little snowmen on the windowsills.

It feels like it’s the time for one last blow-out season before we pass the eight-foot tree to someone younger and get a four-footer. So after dinner today, I’ll brave the attic and bring down all my Christmas treasures. They might not all go back up, and that’s okay.

And through it all, we won’t forget that what truly matters is sitting on the sofa next to us, agreeing that once again, we over decorated.

KC Kendricks

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