Tidings of Comfort and Joy

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GailChristmas.jpg'Tis the season and if there was ever one when I could have thrown in the towel, this would have been it. However, that's not my style and so I find myself in the midst of the perfect Christmas storm.

Take a walk through my house -- it looks like the elves have had a heyday there. The kitchen counter is covered with all manner of tags and wrapping paper and bags and tape. The dining room table is covered with wrapped gifts going on to friends and Dallas family. One son, who has acquired a wife, left an empty bedroom behind that's now filled with the tubs of décor from the attic. Another son evacuated years ago to Seattle, and his room has gifts yet to be wrapped in it. My daughter's former room has the bags with all the stocking goodies and sacks -- lots of sacks.

The living room has a tree (with lights on it!) shoved into a corner. But the end table, lamp and rocker that used to be where the tree now is are still in the middle of the room. There also is garland strewn around on the floor. Oh, and some ornaments waiting to be hung are on that end table that's still in the middle of the floor.

But, back to what we're about here -- because this is the holiday season after all -- the mess and the hustle and bustle are just a part of a crazy time of year. However, the real meaning of this holiday is to remember the hope that comes with Christmas. It's a time to stop and count your blessings and to be grateful for the family and friends who gather near.

I'm truly lucky to have had many blessings over the past months. I would never have thought that being diagnosed with a brain tumor would be one of these, but it is. This illness has shown me that I am very fortunate to have loved ones around me who support and care for me. Thanks to all of them and to my medical team at M. D. Anderson, I'm here to celebrate the season once again. They are all my tidings of comfort and joy.

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