With snow on Christmas Eve and the entire family all around, you can pretty much wrap it up to the best Christmas of all times.
We are in beautiful Tahoe. We just had family pictures taken, and I got chilled to the bone. So the the four of us jumped into the hot tub to warm up. While we were in the hottub we sat and watched the sunset over the lake.
As I sit snuggled down in blankets, I look out over the vistas and watch as the tiny sliver of golden light silhouettes the amphitheater of mountains. With the beauty all around us, my mind turns to you. My three shining lights. The girls whose love keeps me warm. The girls who are my sunshine. The girls who bring me comfort, simply by being near. Without you, no view and no Christmas would ever be complete.
I think you are just getting old enough that I can sit and watch you. I observe how beautiful each of you are on the outside and how confident you are in your abilities. I sit without thinking and take in all that you are.
I am reminded of when you were born. After I delivered each of you everyone would want to hold you right away. They would take you away from me and marvel at your perfect little face. While you were put on display, my body would tense up and shake as if I was in the Arctic. Then as soon as you were handed back to me, I would relax, mind, body, and soul. My body stopped shaking and I could just stare into your little face.
As you grow, you pull away and spend time with others. Though this is normal, I think my body tenses again, like it recognizes the sensation of being separated from you.
Here, in Tahoe, on Christmas I have not needed to cook and clean. Others have carried the responsibility of running the house and I have had the opportunity to sit, watch and learn. I can look into your beautifulness and take you in. Take you in. It seems to be the right phrase for what it feels like.
So, as I take you in, I want to reflect for a moment. I have only good expectations for next year. My meds are working, my articles written and the Foundation founded. There seems to be nothing but promising endings on the horizon. But in case this year isn’t filled with good things, I want to pause and write you a Christmas letter, to say things that need to be said.
First, I want you to know that I have tried to be very honest with you about my cancer. I have given you the chance to ask questions and I have always answered honestly. Also, the parts you don’t understand, I have done my best to explain in such a way that you can at least have an idea. The one thing I have not done is look you in the eyes and tell you that stage 4 cancer leads to death. There is no cure.
Let me tell you why I haven’t done this. First you are little girls! You were 2,4, and 6 when I was diagnosed. I want you to walk in confidence rather than finding yourself burdened by something that is too difficult for most adults to carry. Secondly, I am full of hope. If you read through my writings, I declared to the world my unquestionable belief that I will not die from cancer. But, if I have misunderstood God’s purposes in my life, I want to write this down. That I may be understood. That as you grow, into true adults, you may see who I am on the inside and not struggle with questions about who I was.