It’s the beginning of November and it seems that we have jumped from Halloween to Christmas in one fell swoop. I’ve dubbed it the “Hallowmas” effect. What in the world ever happened to Thanksgiving?  When did it loose its prominence on the holiday meter? One holiday blurs into another and this year Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are celebrated simultaneously. In the midst of the holiday chaos, we can do well to approach the season with thanks and giving.

When cancer touches your world you tend to look at thanks and giving in a different way. Some days it’s hard to be thankful for anything. And who has to energy to get out and get a gift or give of your self when you or your loved one have just had treatment and can’t even get off the couch? The holy days of the holidays become simplified and centered on relationships.

I remember the year my dad was in treatment in Florida and couldn’t come home to Michigan for Christmas. We used an early version of Skype to join together on Christmas Day and see/talk to each other. My father had recently finished his second chemotherapy treatment and was sporting his new bald look. It was a reality point for our family that our dad was really sick. But then we heard his big, deep voice; saw his fascination with the ability to see and hear us; and witnessed his gratefulness that we were “all together” for a moment.

My father was receiving the latest and greatest treatment and his prognosis was good. We had gathered as siblings and faced the fear of the two empty chairs at the Christmas dinner table. But now our hearts were full of thankfulness and that smiling, bald guy was our greatest gift that year.

1Chronicles 16:8 says, ” Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” Coming into the holiday season with thanks and giving means first giving thanks to our Lord for each new day. Be thankful, give what you can and where you can, and remember to treasure each moment.

We at HOPE Cancer Connection wish you a very blessed holiday season!

Brenda Bonn, Executive Director