War is Over
What have you done...another year over...a new one just begun...
Back in December 2008, after I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, I heard Happy Xmas by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the radio, and listened intently to the lyrics:
So this is ChristmasAnd what have you doneAnother year overAnd a new one just begun
And so this is ChristmasI hope you have funThe near and the dear oneThe old and the young
A very Merry ChristmasAnd a happy new year
Let's hope it's a good oneWithout any fear
And so this is ChristmasFor weak and for strongFor rich and the poor onesThe world is so wrong
And so happy ChristmasFor black and for whiteFor yellow and red oneLet's stop all the fight
And so this is ChristmasAnd what have we doneAnother year overA new one just begun
And so happy ChristmasWe hope you have fun
The near and the dear oneThe old and the young
War is over, if you want itWar is over now
la, la, ah, ahHappy ChristmasHappy Christmas (happy Christmas)
It spoke to me on so many levels. I just heard the words "you have cancer" - at age 26! I was living in New York City and ready to take on whatever was coming my way. I listened and cried. For me, that Christmas (in 2008), wouldn't be fun! It wasn't a going to be a good one without any fear! This Christmas was for the weak and strong. I was strong! The war isn't over, it was just beginning for me! Immediately, I gravitated toward the song, and thought: next year at this time, I can say the war will be over. I can say I won't have fear. So it became the song I couldn't wait to hear every Christmas.
This year, 11 years later, I was baking cookies in Ben's kitchen with his daughter Aubrey. It was loud, messy and full of laughs, giggles and silly dancing to Silent Night by Sister Loretta Tharpe. Aubrey had just given me a hand-painted XOXO sign to hang on my wall, and a picture she colored that says "Be Brave" for my surgery.
Happy Xmas came on our Alexa and immediately, tears were running down my face. The last 11 years have been so full of ups and downs. But on that very night, just a few days before Christmas, I was the happiest I had ever been in my whole life. I was surrounded by love, happiness, warmth and family.
I listened to the lyrics with happy tears and a bit of sparkle in my eyes.
..."War is over" ~ Yes, the war is over. I'm not in chemo. I have my hair back. I have surgery, but I don't have cancer. My war is over!
..."What have you done?" ~ I fell in love with two people this year - Ben and Aubrey.
..."Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear" ~ Do I have some fear? You bet I do...who doesn't!? I do have surgery in January. But I have so much love surrounding me that I will take on whatever comes my way.
..."I hope you had fun" ~ Did I have fun? Hell yes I did! I gained about 10 pounds of fun (can you say ice cream? Thanks Ben!) And huge thanks to my friends (specifically Ashley and Michelle), my family (love you all!), my work family and more!
..."Another year over, a new one just begun." - Yep, and couldn't be more excited about 2020! Bring it!
For all of you out there starting your journey with cancer, those of you continuing and fighting, and those who have finished - just know we are always thinking about you and sending you love.
Never give up, stay strong and keep on Fighting Pretty!
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