It’s a few days before Christmas and all through the house,

Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings are hung on the bannister with care,

Looking forward to the little, fun gifts they’ll soon share.


As I sit and reflect on this freakishly odd year,

The many things we have survived become crystal clear.

The list is longer than ones made for St. Nick,

The yearly tally of what it really means to be sick.


All the things that we’ve had — I could write and write and write,

But, instead I show you just a few of the highlights.

It’s just a snapshot of the year for those who suffer illness,

Who year after year trek the difficult path towards wellness.


Between Becca and I, we have had:


Twenty-four blood tests, filling dozens and dozens of vials,

Visiting doctors and hospitals, we drove over 2,000 miles.

We had 48 doctor visits, including 18 at physical therapy,

Plus, wrangling with insurance over covering the fees.


We had 2 venograms, 6 CT scans, 1 stent and 2 blocks,

As well as one kidney transplant – not a thing to be mocked.

Thirty-six days off of work, plus dozens more partial days,

We’ve had 26 medications, if that doesn’t just amaze!

(Yes, most of those we are still on …)


Now we’re ending the year with another surgery,

Another month off of work.  Not so easy.

We’ll be in the hospital for Christmas, how fun is that?

Without the ability to have friends and family come chat!


Take a look at this file, so thick with bills,

Each piece of paper reflects a visit – it seriously gives me chills.

It’s our reality year after year after year,

Just looking at it makes me start to shed a few tears.



So why do I feel so grateful as I sit here and think?

Why are these tears ones of joy?  Why doesn’t my soul start to sink?


 Because I’ve seen almost a decade of unbearable pain and grief.

From which we had years and years of absolutely no relief.

Now my daughter can walk again – she can stand up tall.

It feels like the greatest Christmas miracle of all.


Soon she’ll be able to use her arms again, too.

It is like starting a life over again, completely brand new.

We no longer take for granted the little or simple things.

Our hearts are overflowing, and now my soul wants to sing.


We know that life dumps endless trials on some more than others.

It gets so hard that you feel your life is being smothered.

We know that life can seem just grossly unfair.

There aren’t always easy answers, and all you can do is suffer and bear.


So please know that no matter how dark or how pained,

That hope, even faintly, should always remain.

Keep hanging on, even by the skin of your teeth,

And there will be a day (or year) when you get that sought-after relief.


We wish all of you the happiest Holidays this year.

Even if you have to put a brave smile on and fake your Holiday cheer! 😉

Tara Signature


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