Merry Christmas to All!
I just wanted to wish you all a merry Christmas. (Assuming anyone out there will be reading this in the next couple of days...I know that I probably won't get back to the computer until Tuesday...) Thank you all for your well-wishes this holiday - it has already been a special time for us, and so far promises to be a wonderful Christmas for our family. I will post pictures next week.
Ellie is doing very well right now. Yesterday's transfusions left her with more color in her face and some more energy. She doesn't have any more nausea, but she also doesn't have a very strong appetite at the moment.
A couple of days ago Ellie and I were alone in the house and she was having a difficult day. Everything seemed to irritate her and she didn't respond well to my encouragements to eat, drink, etc... I was telling John's aunt Loretta (in Montana) about it over the phone and she came up with the thought that Ellie was probably going through what I (and others of us who are "in the trenches" so to speak) have been going through lately...the feeling that we just want our lives back. (Where's the 'easy button' when you need it? - you know: "I'm all done...thanks for playing...bye-bye now!" and *poof* life is all back to normal.) So I sat down next to Ellie when the opportunity presented itself and said "I can tell that you're having kind of a hard time today, and I was just wondering if you are wishing that you're life was back to what it was before you had cancer - going to school and seeing your friends and stuff." Her eyes immediately filled up with tears and her face just crumpled. She quietly nodded and leaned her head forward until it rested on my chest. I told her that I had cried some for the exact same reason and that it was o.k. to cry about it...that sometimes it even makes you feel better. We just snuggled and talked for a few minutes and she cried a little, but not a big heartbroken kind of cry. The moment passed and the day went much better. It was such a good experience for me, because I forget sometimes that she is capable of feeling some of the exact same things that grown-ups are, but she doesn't understand why she feels the way she does. If I would take the time every once in a while to think about how I feel, then imagine how it must be in her shoes, I can hopefully help her through some of these things. I'm just extremely thankful to have people (especially Loretta) who look out for us...we could never get through this on our own and stay sane, or keep Ellie sane!
Tonight while we were eating supper, there was a knock on the door and a group of people (that we know) were caroling on our porch. We took the kids out to listen. Ethan leaned in really close to John and said "Daddy, I'm feeling a little nervous..." So John knelt close and cuddled him during the singing. It was so nice to see the familiar faces and hear the wonderful Christmas music. Ellie listened quietly, then smiled and waved as the group left. The moment we got back into the house, I looked at her face and she was smiling from ear to ear! She had been so reserved as the people sang, but once inside Ellie could barely contain herself - she started laughing and tried to tickle me, and she just could not stop smiling! Later in the evening Ellie was humming and singing as she played in her room. She has had a good day overall today, but there was a very striking joy and peace in her heart this evening.
I pray that the wonderful joy of Christmas will be with you over the next couple of days wherever you are and whatever you are going through. There is nothing better in the whole world to be celebrating than the day our Savior came to Earth as a tiny helpless baby...it is especially poignant to me this year that He would choose to come and experience all of the heartache and pain in this life BEFORE sacrificing His life to save me from my sins! As if it wasn't enough to save my soul, He had to actually experience all of the heartbreaks that I do and be able to not just know, but UNDERSTAND my heart - it just blows me away!