Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas, Courage, & A New Year

I want to thank my family and friends for the cards, gifts, thoughts, prayers, and simply your presence (which is much more important than your presents) this Christmas. I apologize for my inadequacy where returning the favor is concerned. This is not my favorite holiday nor my favorite time of year - everybody who knows me well knows this - but I always hope to make the best of it or at least get through it in one piece. It is usually a relief when it's over, because that means the new year is coming up and my silly brain usually registers New Year's Day as a clean slate and a new start. I'm not sure how I will be feeling about it this time. 2014 has been a year of grief and many changes, but one thing is certain - I will try.

I'm a chronic trier to the point of my own detriment at times with no intention of giving up even when my mind and body and circumstances and people insist that I do so. I would like to believe I have purpose in the world in spite of my brokenness...perhaps even because of it. So even though I never wanted to be a fighter, I put on my mask and I fight. Anyone you talk to who is faced with serious illness and/or deep loss will tell you that they carry on not because they are doing well or because they are feeling better or because they want to, but because they have to. Because it's the only reasonable option. Because they know the alternative. Because even in the darkest of times, it is the right thing to do.

I've read that courage is not the absence of fear - it is choosing to rise to the challenge in the midst of that fear. So I pray for courage as I end this year and begin a new one. I am a realist and I know this stubborn illness, the frustration, the difficult pain, the grief, and the seemingly impossible circumstances will still be there. But I also know I'm equally impossible, difficult, and stubborn, therefore I will strive to face it all with my heart, mind, and stupid sense of humor intact.

Because I have to.

May 2014 end as well as possible, and 2015 be better.