The holidays are upon us. Shops are decorated, playing Christmas music and glittering with lights. There are crowds, carollers and an excitement brimming just under the surface. This season is bittersweet for me. I absolutely love the holidays and all the family traditions that are carried out. However, it was during this season that my world was turned upside down. If you have been following my blogs you know that I had my first MRI on December 22, 2006 three days before Christmas. I was then officially diagnosed with MS on December 29th.
I was on crutches that Christmas; I had been on crutches for months. Christmas shopping in a crowded mall on crutches was daunting, tiring and frustrating task. My friend was helping me shop one night when a teenaged boy kicked my crutch out from under me and proceeded to laugh as I inevitably fell. As I picked myself up I was mortified, but unhurt. I think my pride was wounded most. I couldn’t fathom why another human being would intentionally set out to harm someone. I had always felt that holidays were meant to bring people together and this belief was in danger of being cast aside.
I had several stumbles that Christmas season but I accomplished my shopping goals. I also kept up my tradition of being the family baker. I am the one who makes multiple types of cookies and old fashioned hand made chocolates for family members. I felt like I was on auto pilot that first Christmas. I had been told prior to my MRI that I most likely had MS and that the MRI was basically just a test to confirm what was glaringly obvious. I went through the days prior to Christmas in a fog and somewhat numb. I also remember that there were many sympathetic smiles and looks that were cast my way during family functions. I suppose it was just a concern for my well being but I perceived it as pity and I didn’t want anyone’s pity. As I have gotten older, I realize that they were just concerned and unsure of what to say as I was a tad bit touchy to say the least.
The memories of that first MS Christmas will remain vivid for quite a while yet, but I no longer have any ill feelings for the holiday season. The turmoil my mind was in that first season has long since passed. The first glimmers of holiday lights now bring a smile to my face and an excitement for the upcoming family celebrations. I am sure it will always be bittersweet but I choose to embrace the spirit of the holidays and the dawn of a new year that lies ahead. From my home to yours my friends, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!