While many people are preparing for the holidays, many of our chronic brothers and sisters will still be fighting hard. Perhaps harder because it feels harder to be sick while the rest of the world is celebrating. It is the cruelest reality but seems to be always forgotten by most people. Few people want to spend the holidays with the chronically ill or remembering how difficult the day may be for them. It seems so boring and inconvenient to the rest of the world… So many chronic fighters will often step aside and hide away so the world can go about their celebrating and we become invisible, taking comfort in the knowledge that our friends and loved ones will be happy.
Over the last several years I have come to realize that the only wish I have around this time of year is that all my healthier friends and my beloved chronic family will have a happy, safe and peaceful time. There is no gift greater than the gift of health and I am reminded of this every time a special occasion comes around.
It has been hard some years to summon up a festive spirit when you are aching, suffering and deeply exhausted. And it is easy to feel forgotten during the midst of celebrations. I have to admit that I have felt forgotten on more than one occasion. I think it’s human to admit.
I can’t believe that it is selfish to want to be able to enjoy the fun and joy with others. It’s not selfish to want to have some special memories too without the burden of debilitating pain and endless suffering. But it isn’t something that you can openly speak about without possibly offending others or being labeled as negative.
The past ten years my husband and I have spent the holidays alone as most years I haven’t been well enough to eat a sumptuous banquet or deck the halls. But we have done what we could and that’s all we can ever do.
I would dearly love to give my husband the most amazing gift or just give him a day when he didn’t have to be a carer, but perhaps the real gift is knowing that whatever day of the year it is that there will always be some love to give each other. Always.
Love is the only gift that doesn’t need an special day to enjoy it, a box to put it in, or a lot of money to buy it. It is irreplaceable and can make any day a little bit more special, and every challenge a little more manageable.
It seems so cliched to be saying this but every time a special day rolls around or an important date comes up I have found the peace to accept whatever happens by knowing that I am loved and I can still give love.
I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing in the coming weeks, may the holidays remind you of the love that made each year possible and that will take you through the years to come.