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Christmas Memories

21 Dec

Christmas

Christmas always brings lots of memories; some great ones, and some not so great. Growing up in Detroit, I remember my parents waking me up as a young child to attend the historic Old St Mary’s Church in Detroit to go to midnight mass. What I remember about it (since I was so young) was that it was huge and outrageously beautiful. But I also remember the pews being hard as I fell back asleep on them during mass (oops, I was REALLY young). Anyhow, traditionally, we would go back home afterward and eat until dawn. Though the church location changed when we moved to the suburbs, that tradition carried on through high school, sometimes with only my family, and sometimes with friends coming to our house. I remember moments around Christmas like ice skating around the frozen fountain at Belle Isle, the Thanksgiving Parade, and shopping at the old Hudson’s in downtown Detroit.

The two most memorable Christmas’s to me were both significant moments in my life. The first was awful, 2009. It was the morning of Christmas Eve 2009 when I was at the hospital with my three girlfriends at 6am. They came with with me to support me during my PET scan to check on suspicious activity in my neck. At this point I had and beat cancer twice already with my last surgery just the September before. They came with me to sit for the three hours it took to finish. When I came out, two were sleeping in chairs in the waiting room and I’ll never forget how grateful I was they had taken time away from their families to be with me that day. At 4:00 the same evening my doctor called and I received the devastating news that indeed the cancer was back. He said, “Merry Christmas, I’m sorry.” The other Christmas I remember was in the 4th grade, I was 8 or 9 and we had just moved to the suburbs from Detroit. At this time my parents were both working and my dad had even worked two jobs to move us to a nicer area. That Christmas I wrote Santa a long letter. I remember writing a list of things I wanted and then adding things for my hard working parents. When I came downstairs Christmas morning, nothing from my list was on the fireplace. All that was there was a large (to me it was life-sized) yellow, stuffed dog. I remember being a little disappointed that Santa hadn’t brought the presents I asked for for me and my parents, but I loved that stuffed animal. It stayed with me for years! Looking back I now realize that we didn’t have a lot of money and my parents gave me the best they had. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

After cancer and life’s difficulties in general, Christmas along with every day is special. We were given the gift of Jesus on Christmas Day and that is the best gift. Every moment, every memory, every breath whether Christmas or the days after is icing on the cake. Today’s lipstick is my favorite red Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot. Moisturizing, deep red. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

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2 Responses to “Christmas Memories”

  1. Jo Heroux December 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Christmas memories are very mixed for me,also. The midnight service of old was wonderful. We went home and opened one gift. I loved it. None of us does that anymore and when my kids were little none of the churches here had them. Every year I would check tori done nearby…none.
    Anyway…from there I pretty much jump to my early Mommy Christmases. Wonderful games to surprise the kids with their most wanted gift. Their faces when the last gift would be IT. They never caught on to that.

    Merry cancer free Christmas to you, may all your dreams come true.

    • Anna December 23, 2013 at 12:38 am #

      Thanks Jo! So many memories. Merry Christmas and New Years blessings to you!

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