Archive for December, 2011

The Gift Of Time.

The Gift of Time: By Kellie Kennedy-One Baby Boomers View On Life.

This Christmas was supposed to be the BETTER holiday for my parents. The morning holiday ritual begins. Mom awakens far earlier than my papa these days, he now deserves to be a bit of Rip Van-Winkle. Mom makes sure the fireplace is warm and toasty; the Christmas tree lights are all lite and the coffee pot is ready. Mom plays scrabble on her Kindle Fire and waits patiently to hear papa’s slippers shuffling down the hall. The special sound of my papa’s slippers, lets her know her attention is needed and wanted by him. His cup of coffee and paper in hand and the morning slowly begins by the fire.

In exchange for the cozy morning ambiance, every holiday evening starts out with my papa lighting the fireplace for my mom. They have the lovely fireplace to enjoy-chilly desert evenings and mornings-the Christmas tree all a glow just like a Macy’s tree. Celebrating this year, papa is home with us for the holidays; after battling 1 year of  Bladder Cancer, as a family we had made it through in one piece. This was to be a joyous celebration this December.

On Monday, December 12, 2011 the holiday took an unexpected turn. I received a call from my parents to meet them at their home around the corner. My mom consumed with emotion, I knew they were coming back from my papa’s 6 months Oncology appointment. Once meeting up with my parents, I calmly sat down next to my mom. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “It’s stage 4 and it’s gone into his bones, lymph nodes of the abdomen area, they want to begin radiation and chemotherapy immediately.” Metastatic Bladder Cancer, I  could actually feel my heart breaking … what happened to our perfect holiday? Why was this happening again? The only real gift my parents wanted this holiday, was my papa home and cancer free. Now we are looking at the Gift of Time!

During the holiday season people tend to focus on what type of gifts they are giving or receiving. All consumed on how much to spend and the brand of the gift. Is the gift a Gucci or Kate Spade bag? Did the gift come from Tiffany & Company? My god … I must have a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes as a gift! Being a Cancer Survivor myself and having faced the possibility of  my mortality at an early age;  I have felt for a long time Christmas gifts should be a complete after thought. The real gift at Christmas should be … your Gift of  Healthand your Gift of Life. Now for my parents, it is the Gift of Time. There is no bigger or better gift my papa can buy my mom other than more time with her. This is the type of gift you can’t find in a box, or on a ring finger, or on a pair of feet or even parked in someone’s driveway. The Gift of Time is priceless.

Without missing a beat, my papa made clear their Christmas Eve celebration will remain the same. My parents will be celebrating with dear friends in their home this Christmas Eve.  Celebrating the Gift of Health, Gift of Life and Gift of  Time!

Christmas Chaos Expectation Overload!

Christmas Chaos Expectation Overload: By Kellie Kennedy-One Baby Boomers View On Life.

The holidays are a time for celebrating with friends and family. Then why can it turn into “CHRISTMAS CHAOS” in a split second? Is it because are expectations greatly exceed our reality of the evening/day? We immediately go on what I call “Expectation Overload” with little to no hope of ever succeeding.

We place such unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Immediately unpleasant traits start to appear in our personalities.  All right, let me just call it what it is … “bitchy-ness!”  There is no sexism here; a man can become just as evil in the kitchen in a blink of an eye. Ever see a man go nutty over his  perfect deep-fried turkey being over cooked?  I have WOW, NOT a pretty picture! It’s common knowledge that anxiety, depression, over eating, lack of exercise and weight gain can affect us during the holiday season. So now, let’s add “bitchy-ness” to the dreaded list due to unrealistic holiday expectations we place on ourselves.

How do we NOT become a casuality of the holiday season? Keeping expectations -in check- is a great start. Letting go of being the notorious -control freak during the holiday season. Ask for help with any major task, such as the main dinner/buffet. Times have changed, both parents have full-time careers. It’s not a crime to ask guests to bring a dish to a holiday event to make it easier on the host family. The holidays should be a huge enjoyment, not something that causes stress and illness. So many people walk away from the holidays with an unpleasant experience, due to too much “Christmas Chaos.” The remedy is realistic expectations.

Contest Contribution: Xmas with Mom Contest

CHRISTMAS WITH MOM CONTEST: By Kellie Kennedy-One Baby Boomers View On Life.

Christmas in November!  Mom made sure Christmas came early for my dad and I last year. Dad was spending the entire month of December in the hospital recovery from Bladder Cancer surgery. Due to my Mom, Santa arrived early in our house last November prior to my dad leaving for the hospital. Mom made sure every inch of the house received the holiday glitter treatment with Christmas decorations. The Christmas tree was perfect and beautifully decorated; like a Macy’s tree you would find in New York City. Mom you are  one CRAZY, WONDERFUL elf!

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