It's a New Year!

This time last year, I was back in the chemo chair. I believe I had an anti-nausea pill with a ginger ale chaser instead of a cocktail on New Year’s Eve. Now, I am in a better position to celebrate, to focus on the empty calendar, the story yet to be written. Let’s face it: none of us know what awaits us over the next twelve months, but that can be incredibility exciting, filled with the possibilities to do better and be better. The new year is a ceremonial attempt to eliminate the old while embracing the new, a time to be a bit introspective, to count our blessings as we look forward to the future. We all begin with a blank slate handed to us when the ball drops at midnight. We are filled w

The Empty Plate

It is a tradition to leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk out for Santa. Perhaps the reindeer get a carrot or two. We carry the ritual on from our own childhood and pass it along to the next generation. It is, it seems, one of the few customs to have survived through the ages at a time when we are more likely to discard anything we deem old fashioned and silly. Thankfully, this is one area that has escaped the modern need for political correctness. So far, Santa is still cool, and doesn’t seem to offend anybody’s sensibilities. Somehow on this magical night of miracles, when our Savior was born, anything can happen. We don’t lock our doors or barricade ourselves inside. Instead, we

What Santa Teaches Us

Over the past two weeks I’ve had back-to-back appointments with my medical team. It’s a quarterly ritual that I will complete for the rest of my life. I anxiously await the test results which access my progress. Let’s face it: my fate is in those numbers. I got the good news that I am still in remission a couple of days before my girlfriends and I took a trip to Rock City, Tennessee, to see the Christmas lights. And, of course, that included a visit with Santa. We giggled like little kids as we took our turns to speak to him. When he asked me what I wanted, I told him that I had already received it thanks to Jesus. He smiled knowingly and winked as he handed me a candy cane. Inspiration is

Perfect Presents

The holiday hoopla is in full swing at my house as I carefully craft my never-ending to-do list, and check it twice, I might add. Magic, ironically, doesn’t magically happen, in spite of what the elf on the shelf might whisper in the night. Nope, it requires preparation and planning and effort. The most special time of the year is also the busiest for most of us as we scramble to create the perfect holiday and preserve our precious traditions. Yes, it is hectic, but ultimately, worth it. And since last year wasn’t much of a celebration for us, I am determined to make up for it. I have spent the afternoon wrapping gifts. As I painstakingly tie a bow around each package, I hope that the recipi

Measuring Life

The lone bird, perched high in the tree, holds tightly to the limb which supports it, moving to and fro with the rhythm of the wind. But on a particularly stormy night, it missteps, falling to the ground with a resounding thud. It attempts to right itself, to shake off the trauma and fly back to a place of safety, but it cannot. Its wing is badly broken. And so it lies there, helpless, waiting for the inevitable attack from a hungry predator. But in the morning light, a young boy finds the poor creature and places it in a small cardboard box. He takes it home and gently nurses it back to health. Within weeks, the bird is strong again, its wing miraculously healed and the boy returns it to th

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