Cancer At Christmas

Christmas can bring back bittersweet memories.

This Dec. post is a brief reminder the Christmas season isn’t without times of grief and sadness.

As a boy I remember being excited as Christmas drew near. My imagination worked overtime as I anticipated the fun of Christmas. To me, there was no greater time of year than Christmas Day. Now I am older I still love Christmas.

As years have gone by I recognize the Christmas season has its share of emotional scars. For the most part these scars healed but have not disappeared.

During our forty-one years of marriage my beloved wife has experienced cancer twice. She has survived each time but, of course, not without scars. Her most recent cancer scare came during Christmas season of 2017.

A role of a husband is to protect his wife. I could not protect my wife from cancer either time. I bear the scars of this.

I wrote about my wife’s cancer in a series of Scarred Joy posts in Dec. 2017 and Jan. 2018. I wrote them as a way of processing her journey with this illness. Using the term, “illness,” in this context under states the reality of cancer.

Cancer is an invasion, an assault on one’s whole being. Cancer while a direct assault on an individual impacts other people as well. Perhaps the emotional impact of cancer is most felt in the life of a spouse and one’s children. I will highlight this in a future post.

For the sake of this post I present to you a poem depicting cancer’s assault on a husband.

Cancer At Christmas

Honest with my heart
This hurts
Cries and whimpers
Numbness
Shaking a fist at heaven
My head supported by my hands
Face wet with tears
Frozen in time
Cancer diagnosis

Why God? –Cancer at Christmas?
Help me help her.

My darling, you amaze me
Your words calm
You say you have peace
I enjoy peace with you
We hang decorations
Drink eggnog
Romance each other
Hold on
Never let go
Thankful
In the moment

This illness will not win
Beneath the surface
We have peace
Stillness
Rest
We are together
Give thanks
Make merry

In the rare silence
Of Christmas
God is not surprised
By this fiend cancer
Joy is our companion
We weep
Rejoice
We are not alone
Immanuel
God with us
Unseen yet present

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