The Stockings are Hung with Care

As I count my many blessings, my wish for you is that you are able to hold fast to the moment and breathe in all that you have, all that is dear to you now and that you, too, will fill your stockings with the presence and love of the moment. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
PUBLISHED December 25, 2014
Suzanne Lindley has been living with metastatic colorectal cancer since 1998. She is the founder of YES! Beat Liver Tumors, an organization for individuals living with metastatic liver tumors, and an advocate for Fight Colorectal Cancer.
Every year, my parents take great care in planning our Christmas stockings.  When I was young they were filled with oranges and apples, unshelled pecans, a book of lifesavers, gold chocolate coins, jacks, and small but sentimental items.  Some of my most treasured gifts and fond memories were found lovingly tucked inside.
 
As the holidays have enveloped my family with the calamity that many families living with terminal cancer can well comprehend, it is a ritual that I cherish.  Gently hung, our stockings have become the calm amidst the chaos of school programs, decorating, baking, shopping, and parties.  Filled with love, they each hold the tradition of oranges and apples. This year, they will also be filled with the memories and milestones of 2014.  They are a reminder of the magic that life holds every minute of every day.
 
Cancer provides those diagnosed with the sometimes unbearable wisdom that nothing is permanent and the gift of the moment is the most magical gift of all.  I find, that as the days pass, I am extremely grateful for the cognizance of how fragile life can be. The awakened knowledge that today is fleeting can fill the days with worry or ensure that every breath is cherished.  Sometimes it is a delicate balance of both.
 
There have been priceless, precious moments this past year starting with our dream trip to Australia, great accomplishments by our girls, family dinners, birthdays, another anniversary, and even some pretty scary situations that have led to deep, meaningful conversations. So this holiday season my thoughts have been lost in the essence, the joy, and the hope that is nestled in the hustle and bustle of all that should be normal. Special photos.  A memory book. Quotes from each family member. Special thoughts. Dreams. That is what fills our Christmas stockings this year. 
 
As I count my many blessings, my wish for you is that you are able to hold fast to the moment and breathe in all that you have, all that is dear to you now and that you, too, will fill your stockings with the presence and love of the moment.  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.
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