I absolutely love the holidays. But this year, it hasn't started out so great. Thanks to a horrible bout of pneumonia, I was robbed of our Thanksgiving entirely, forced to be away from my family because I was in the midst of a 15 day hospital stay while I tried to get well.
While my daughters and dad went to Chuck-a-rama for dinner because no one could cook for them, and my husband was in Seattle visiting his daughter, my mom and I were hanging out in my hospital room while I ate popcorn in bed. It was awful. I was heartbroken that instead of spending several days prior cooking and baking and getting the good dishes out on the table, I was eating horrid hospital food. Instead of shopping, I was getting horrible tests to determine my type of pneumonia.
This year won’t be a typical Christmas either. I will be some 45-minutes away in a “clean” apartment awaiting my recovery from a stem cell transplant. Because I knew I would be away from home for Christmas, I had to make some BIG decisions about what the holidays meant to me, my children and family so that I could craft how to make this season work for us.
We have family traditions that run deep: big meals, lots of relatives eating together, opening gifts on Christmas eve, watching the news for Santa sightings so the girls could get in bed before his annual visit, waking up the next morning to open mountains of gifts and join more family members for food and games. It really is special, joyous and fun. And over their break from school, we were planning on baking endless amounts of cookies, going to lots of holiday parties, shopping and wrapping gifts. I bought then season ski passes and I was going to put them in ski school and arrange ski dates with friends on the slopes.
But, scratch all of that. Since I am required to move into my clean apartment in just days, my daughters and decided together that, expense aside, I would rent a two bedroom/two bath room at Marriott’s Residence Inn. It comes with a full kitchen, living room and fireplace. That meant there was room for them and my parents (my caregivers through my transplant) to join me. And while we cried crocodile tears, we purchased a tiny tree and gifts for those we love. We wrapped them and put them in a big pile to take up to my apartment.