Today is Open

There is no holiday scheduled for today. And admittedly, I’m at a loss. Last time this occurred I talked about butter. I’m just not feeling that clever today.

I can’t believe this week is Thanksgiving. This year has completely flown by, which is difficult to accept when I want to cling to every single day. Ben is struggling. Madeline is struggling. Ben was emotional and weepy yesterday (cannot blame him for that) and Madeline was struggling with attention issues (cannot blame her for that). She has been saying that we love Ben more than we love her. It breaks my heart. She’s having trouble connecting at school. Her teacher mentioned that Madeline acts as if school is something that is “done” to her – like it’s some sort of punishment. I could see that in later years, but this is Kindergarten. She should be having a blast.

We’re trying to get excited about the holiday season. Hopefully, Ben will stay out of the hospital this week (although we have to go in each day for a shot… don’t get me started on the inefficiency of the mail-order drug company we’re dealing with). I have a small turkey breast for Thanksgiving and then stuff for side dishes. I’m going to make a pumpkin pie (barf) for Matt. I love the cooking aspect, I just don’t necessarily love to eat Thanksgiving food. I know, I have some severe mental deficiencies.

Then, this weekend, we’ll hopefully be decorating for Christmas. Time to put up THE TREE. THE TREE that’s bigger than our house. THE TREE that I cannot reach the top of, despite using our tallest ladder. THE TREE that has no ornaments on the top because I just can’t reach… so I created giant letters that spell out “JOY” and place them on the top. While it’s very aesthetically pleasing – these large letters spelling out “JOY” – if you’re looking at THE TREE from the wrong angle, it looks like THE TREE says “OY” instead of “JOY”. For my non-Yiddish speaking friends, oy is used as an expression of woe. As in, “Oy, that is one big tree.”

Prior to “THE TREE”, we had been borrowing trees from here and there – whoever had one to spare – because Ben could not be around live Christmas trees. After his bone marrow transplant we had to give up our live tree habit. Ben had to steer clear of a lot of nature… mold was the biggest culprit. No live trees. So, we borrowed. But in moving to CO, we had no one to borrow from, so my parents sprung for the biggest tree Sam’s Club had. And it sure is big. And Febreze makes a pine-scented spray available just for the holidays so who needs a live tree?

Actually, the last live tree we bought was two months before Ben was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. I remember wearing a red sweater and black pants. I was several months pregnant with Madeline. Ben was tired and wanted me to carry him. His legs hurt. I remember that we had been to several doctor’s appointments to try and figure out what was ailing our Ben, but we had no answers at this point. So, I held him. We snuggled. He laid his head on my shoulder as we wandered through the trees. Cancer was eating away at him then. I hate that it was in there and I had no idea. I couldn’t protect him from the scariest monster in the whole world. Couldn’t kiss away the hurts. And I’m sure it was in there laughing at us. Stealing the life from my son so it could continue to live and breathe and grow. Sneaky bastard.

Oh well. Cancer might try to ruin our holiday season but I won’t let it. We’re not making any firm plans because that would just be setting us up for disappointment. So, we’ll take each day as it comes. And while we’d like to get THE TREE up this weekend, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m also going to rethink the placement of my giant letters so we can see the JOY instead of the OY.

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  1. Ahh, the holiday season… at least we have NO family drama to look forward to this year! Just us and the big tree (not to mention the crazy cats and that little disease Ben has… and Madeline’s attention issues).

    Don’t worry about the pumpkin pie, I’m sure Sara Lee wouldn’t mind making one for me. 😉


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