Sunday, 5 December 2010

No waiting!

Last year mum and I made these penguins at Peebles hydro hotel where we spent Christmas 2009. We had such a happy family Christmas. I never dreamt I would have such a traumatic and turbulent year in 2010. I didn't realise that 2009 could have been my last Christmas. We never know what is round the corner- good or bad. Just as well I reckon! We booked last year for this year- Christmas 2010. At times we thought we would have to cancel the trip but we didn't. And now, against all odds we will go again as a family AND I AM SO EXCITED. I have never taken my wonderful family for granted. Since I lost my dad in 2001 I learnt that nothing lasts forever. But this year I love them more than ever and value them more than ever. Not only have they all put in a tough emotional and physical shift on my behalf, they are without doubt the focus and priority in my life.

Through the grace of God and a million prayers from all over the world I will see this Christmas after all. I felt odd about Christmas for years after dad died- I found it so hard to feel happy without him there. But someone pointed out to me: would you like teenager to feel the same way about Christmas if you died? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I want him to celebrate my life when I die and feel happy and grateful at Christmas, valuing friends and family and having a great time. My dad loved Christmas and I have now promised myself that I will throw myself into this time of year whole heartedly as long as I am here to do so. I am sorry that I was sometimes down and miserable and negative about it. Never again. He is happy and at peace now ( and if heaven is all about doing what we loved to do - he will be at the Ashes at the moment with other half's dad!!!)
A friend suggested we have a low key budget Christmas this year. I told her she must do what she feels is right for her BUT FOR ME NOT A DAMNED CHANCE. I am going all out to have a ball. No budgets, no economies, no quiet and no low key for this girl. I feel like Scrooge after the three spirits- it's all out.
Much as changed for me since last Christmas. I am now vegetarian on doc's orders ( though I can eat fish thankfully). I now comb M@S shelves for veggie ideas. Also, I now longer have a bladder!! Now that's a bit different eh? I am now known as a urostomate which means I wear a urostomy bag to catch urine. Its a big transition and I really knew nothing about it pre my operation. But every cloud has a silver lining. I don't have to get up to the loo in the winter nights, I never have the urge to go to the loo at an inconvenient moment, and I have a ' NO WAITING' card. This explains to long queues of people that I should have immediate access to the toilet in the event of needing to get in there ( in case the bag needs replacing or emptying - then it is damned urgent let me tell you!), they should step aside graciously. I have only used it once thus far ( today in fact) and everyone was really lovely. I was nervous but there was no problem. I thought - I guess there has to be some compensations. And having no bladder means it can't cause me anymore bother, pain and nuisance. And that suits me just fine.
Enjoy your preparations and take a moment to think. If you knew this Christmas was indeed your last, would you view in differently?


Irritatingly Optimistic said...

I cant believe its almost a year since you went to Peebles. What a year for you since.
I truly hope that you and your family have the best Christmas ever and put 2010 in the past.

Oh and I love the penguins!

Angie said...

Wow - such a lot in the space of a twelve month! So you're not subsidising Tena Lady then? You make having your bladder removed sound almost like this year's 'must have'.

Seriously though, I don't know what I would do if I knew this Christmas to be my last. Not be as clear headed as you I think. The first choice might be that I would be thrown into such a self-pitying tizzy that this Christmas would be a total non-starter. The second would be wishing I had known sooner so I could have made more of it this year. Regret either way I'm afraid.

l'optimiste said...

food for thought Jo. I must admit to being rather gloomish this year...hopefully I will be full of beans again next year...

This has got to be your best Christmas ever? Having being told you wouldn't have it! Well, you shall have your Christmas [and eat it too] ;)

Maggie May said...

I'm so glad that you are enjoying your Christmas preparations.
It has been a tough year. I think you have the right attitude with the urostomy and everything.
I am interested to know why you can't eat meat. Is it because of the urostomy bag or is it because it is better for cancer survivors if you don't?
I am a semi vegetarian but my husband who is also battling cancer, loves red meat.

As this Christmas was bothering me a bit because of the memories of last year, I was not looking forward to it one bit and then this afternoon, when I was putting up the tree, I suddenly thought, "NO! I am going to enjoy this Christmas and am grateful to be alive!" A wave of peace came over me.
Wishing you joy and peace this Christmas time.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Bernie said...

Good for you and I wish you and your family your best Christmas ever!.....:-)Hugs

Expat mum said...

This year was indeed not a great year for you, although in some respects Jo, it was your finest. You knew what you wanted, you insisted on it, and you came through against the odds with flying colours.
And it's made everyone's Christmas that you're having such a good one this year.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh Jo....this is such a touching post.
You brought out tears and laughter all in one sitting.
My dad was scrooge. I am not thank goodness.
I am glad you have big plans...and I know you will live it up!!!!!

If I knew this was my last Christmas?? I don't know what I would do...we have always talked about 'going away' for Christmas, but never had. Perhaps a big trip with my family would be needed???
I am such a homebody would be almost too different leaving.

Love your positive always you are an uplifting and fun person.xoxox

karen gerstenberger said...

So glad that you have decided to "seize the season" and live it to the full - you've earned it and you know its value! Your family must be overjoyed to be able to celebrate with you.
No bladder...I can see your positive points. I feel that way about having had a hysterectomy. I haven't missed it...though I don't have a pass to get to the head of any lines!
God bless you, and may all of your Christmas & New Year dreams come true.

Anonymous said...

Christmas preparations are almost my favorite part of Christmas- spiritual aspects included. I guess that means I love the feeling of hope, and all this delicious sugary nesting, more than anything. There is just nothing like decorating for Christmas. I think if I knew this would be my last one, I wouldn't be spending it looking for a place on my own... but I'm hoping this will only be a beginning. We just never know. But we've got to enjoy every morsel while we can. Have a wonderful Advent! xxx

Clippy Mat said...

Jo: You deserve this Christmas and it should and will be a wonderful one. Your last year has been unbeievable but you have come through against all odds and are setting such an excellent example by your courage and determination in your recovery.
That no waiting card? It's the equivalent of 'get out of jail free'.
God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Jo your cheerful nature is a blessing and lesson to us all, I hope santa fills your stocking and christmas is all that you want it to be. Christmas for us will be in the Midlands and I expect to laugh with my family until I pee my pants and talk to you in the new year. Have a ball,lots of Champagne, big bunches of flowers and lots of candles.
love and good wishes from the New forest

Gill - That British Woman said...

it indeed has been a heck of a year for you. Thank goodness for your sense of humour and for your faith in God.....