I always loved Christmas, right from my earliest memories until December 2017. That was when my enjoyment of anything to do with Christmas took a nosedive and I didn’t think I would have cancer to thank for giving it back to me.
I am the baby of my family and, yes, I was and will always be Daddy’s girl. My Dad was the centre of my world and we were really close. Dad was pleasantly plump, his words, with a little bit of fluffy white hair, and a permanently smiley face, complete with rosey cheeks, no beard. He absolutely loved everything about Christmas and would watch his children opening gifts with tears in his eyes. As years went on, his love for Christmas continued with the arrival of grandchildren. Mum and Dad would wait eagerly for them to arrive as early as they wanted to on Christmas morning because he had already told them that Santa was going to drop them some presents at their house. Dad really was our very own Father Christmas.
Fast forward many, many happy years to 11th December 2017. Sadly, that was the day that my Dad passed away. I didn’t want him to suffer at all as he was such a good person in life, it would be selfish of me to want him to carry on when it was his time to gain his angel’s wings, but I have been broken ever since. That first Christmas without him was one of the hardest times of my life, seeing the huge gap he’d left in our lives and there was nothing anyone could do to make it feel better. I haven’t even really tried since then to recreate Christmas because it wouldn’t be the same without him. Only letting the Twins put the decorations up at the last minute and constantly moaning about it. They’ve even got a video of me moaning that the decs were up. It just felt fake.
This year we have a new family member joining us, no not a puppy sorry girls, it’s my mate cancer and you know what, it’s made me want Christmas again. Ok, so I still want my Dad here to tell me that everything will be ok and to see his twinkling eyes as he put the decorations up, with Mum telling him it was too early, but something has definitely clicked in my head over the past few days. I can see what matters more than anything in the world. Memories. People say memories keep us going, keep us close to loved ones who have passed away and I would just nod and think yeh yeh, whatever, but now I totally get it.
I’ve been chatting to people and realised that whenever my date and time comes and I have to leave, I don’t want to be remembered for the gifts I gave, or the material things I had in life. I want to be remembered by people hearing my voice inside their heads, just like I hear my Dad, guiding me, making me smile, remembering him daily. Don’t get me wrong, my new BFF isn’t the Grim Reaper (I used capitals in case I upset him lol), but having cancer brings with it the knowledge that it has got the capability of ending my life sooner rather than later and all the chemotherapy and medications in the world can’t stop it once it gets its teeth in.
Deck the Halls
The Twins gave me a stern talking to about their Grandad and reminded me of the wonderful times we all had with him and how we need to carry on for him, in his memory. So with all that in mind and celebrating the fact that I was so lucky to have my Dad as my Dad, no one else’s, he was and always will be mine, me and the Twins have put up our Christmas decorations and started wrapping gifts. We are all excited about seeing each other’s faces when we open those gifts, nothing expensive, we’re on a budget just like everyone else and especially with the dreaded Covid making things even tighter. We are making memories, the sort of memories that keep me close to my Dad, so that whenever it’s my time, I can carry on living in the minds and hearts of my loved ones and they can carry on enjoying Christmas and every other day in between.
XOXO When you put your shoes in the basket, don’t trip over all the tinsel x