I started packing tonight. Technically, I should have way sooner, but I haven’t really felt like it. Tonight I did. I don’t know if that means anything (intuition) but I just felt like it was time. Nothing is actually in a bag, but there is a neatly stacked “pile” in my bedroom consisting mainly of fuzzy socks.
It made me sad to pack. We have a little tray in our bathroom where my perfume and Jon’s cologne sit side-by-side. It made me most sad to pick up my perfume and tuck it neatly in a bag as his cologne sat alone. Of all people, I think I’ll miss Jon the most. He can come visit-and will-so maybe that’s silly. But, our nights won’t be the normal “downtime” they usually are; just hanging out in the living room, talking, splitting a Dr. Pepper and some popcorn. Our mornings won’t start with me waking up next to him. And that makes me sad. He’s my constant. And my best friend. And though I intentionally make it a point to go to sleep before him (he’s a night owl), I sure will miss waking up to him every day. This whole process is a lot longer than the occasional work trip.
I’m intentionally not thinking about leaving Jack and Wade. It makes me feel like I will completely break down and sob so I just don’t. I know I will have to face it, but for now, I’m organizing the playroom and changing diapers and playing farm. They will be taken care of (totally spoiled to be honest) and kept safe and well. I have nothing to worry about. But those smiles are the light of my life, and not seeing them in person for so long, makes my heart break.
Christmas was wonderful for me. I couldn’t have imagined a better Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It was slow and intentional and downright lazy. I spent time with my family and most of all spent time with my three boys. We watched movies and snuggled on the couch and didn’t get out of our pajamas until 3 PM. We missed our crew-but we didn’t miss the hustle and bustle.
Christmas night we gathered around the dining room table at my in-laws like every year. The crowd is always “small”, just consisting of our more immediate family. Before my father-in-law said the blessing, my mother-in-law spoke up to be sure to pray especially for me and Banks. Her voice was shaky and her eyes were teary when she looked at me across the table. Her concern-and love-for me was apparent. And it made me feel so grateful for the family I married into. I used to always worry, down deep, that I wasn’t what they wanted for Jon. But I don’t think that now. In fact, I know that I am loved, deeply, by a family that means the absolute world to me. And that’s a pretty special gift.
When I married into Jon’s family, I started attending a small Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Up until that time, I never actually “observed” the Christian Calendar. I never participated in Advent, Ash Wednesday, Lent, or anything of the like. Though many churches and denominations observe these universal holidays, I never grew up even knowing what they were or their significance. I now do observe, and celebrate, these significant days of the year. I may not do it totally correctly according to tradition, but I have found that participating in the observation of these significant Christian holidays isn’t simply ceremonial or routine; instead it brings my focus back to what really matters-Jesus.
Right now , Christians around the world are participating in the celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas. If you Google this, there seems to be some debate on when the 12 days actually start, but from the research I have done, it seems to indeed start on December 25th and ends on January 5th, which is also known as Twelfth Night, or Epiphany Eve. January 6th is known as Epiphany or the day that, according to my Pastor, “the glory of the Lord is to shine and be glorified with the coming of the Wise Men led by the star”. I will enter the hospital on January 6th. And I do not find this a coincidence.
Much like the Wise Men, I kind of feel in the dark, overall, in this process. I know the end result, I know the tentative outline of what’s about to happen, but much like the Wise Men, I don’t really know what the journey holds exactly. The Wise Men followed a star to lead them to Jesus so that they could worship him. As I’ve mentioned before, I am simply keeping my eyes locked on Jesus himself as I follow the directions of my medical team and I pray somehow through this mess of a pregnancy, in addition to a sweet baby at the end, somehow good results from this story, too
On January 3rd, at 11 am, my church-Commerce Cumberland Presbyterian- will be hosting a prayer service with a special time of prayer dedicated to me, Banks and my family as we enter into this season. The entire service will be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page which you can find at this link: https://www.facebook.com/CommerceCPC. I would love if you joined in at 11 to meet and pray, but if you are unable, would you please pray from wherever you are or choose to worship at that time? This diagnosis and the weeks ahead are difficult. I do need, and value, the power of prayer. However, I know there are others facing difficulties that need prayer much more than I do. So as you pray, please commit to praying for all of those that have need. This year has been so hard for so many and I not only realize but grieve the thought of taking any attention away from others with needs much greater than my own.
Tons of friends have reached out to ask what they can do, and I still don’t have an answer to that. I made a baby registry and my Aunt is having me a small (Covid conscious) shower on the 2nd. I don’t need something like a Go Fund Me or anything. I’ve been asked to create an Amazon Wishlist for my hospital stay, but I have everything I could need/want. So in truth, just your prayers and encouragement are enough. Many have asked for my address and I will share where you can send mail, etc to the hospital when I know.
As always, thank you so much for loving me and lifting me up over and over and over.