December 24 – Everything’s OK
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
When you have a kidney transplant, they give you massive doses of steroids in the days following surgery. If you aren't familiar with the wonder drug that is prednisone, it's miserable to be on, but does amazing things. It's a powerful anti-inflammatory that most asthmatics, arthritis sufferers and various others are very familiar with. The side effects can cause manic behavior in people (2am emergency vacuuming scenarios, anyone?), swelling in the face (called moon face) and it increases your appetite to a ridiculous level (and then makes it harder to lose the weight you've gained. Double whammy!) It really is a miserable medication, but it does amazing things, and it's saved my life on more than one occasion, so I take my pill and smile.
The first day after surgery, I got an infusion of 500mg of the stuff. It. Made. Me. Insane. Seriously; yelling at my nurses one moment, weeping uncontrollably the next sort of insane. I sat there on my hospital bed, in pain, crying hysterically, with my nurse asking me what was wrong, and my rational self was in there saying “You have nothing to be upset about! It's just cold toast! Don't eat it! You'll survive!” And yet I couldn't make my mouth form the words “I'm fine. I just need a minute” I just cried harder.
I told you it was awful! I was convinced I'd never be normal again, that I'd always be in that much pain, and that having the surgery was the worst thing I'd ever done (And mind you, I'd had a transplant in 2004; I'd been through all of this before!)
The next day, I only got 250mg, and 125 the day after that, so really that first day was the very worst. My surgery was on Monday, and went home on Thursday.
I spent that morning making sure all of my stuff was packed, my vase of flowers not overly filled with water, since I'd be holding it on my lap for the drive home, and waiting. Sitting there, watching one of my three available TV channels, waiting for Jamie to come rescue me from this place and take me home. My knight in shining armor.
I didn't know I'd have two of them!
I heard them before I saw them; Max's usual 2-year old babble, and Jamie making that random conversation one does when entertaining said 2-year old. “Yes, that lady's wearing blue! Oh yeah, I do see black shoes!” That sort of thing.
As they made their way down the hall towards my room, it dawned on me.
*This* was the first day of the rest of my life. My boys were here with me, ready to take me home.
Everything would be OK.
December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.
OMG, this might be the toughest prompt for me yet! I'm always taking pictures, and this year, I've taken even more than usual! In October, I decided to put more conscious effort into improving my photography, so I started a new blog and started actually trying to *learn* instead of just filling my memory cards with Auto-mode snapshots.
Since October, when I changed the file naming method on my camera, I've taken 2,579 photos, and that was before this Christmas weekend!
So I'm cheating. I'm posting 2 pictures. (I'm a rebel like that)
This is an outtake from our Christmas card shoot, back in November, and I adore it! It was taken by a friend of mine, aka Zemya Photography. I had designed a logo for her earlier in the year, so this shoot was my payment; the fact that she took a break from her maternity leave to do this for us really meant a lot, and I am thrilled with how the shots turned out! I love this picture because it really captures us as a family; we don't need much to entertain us, and we spend a LOT of time laughing together.
(ETA: Wanna see the finished card?)
And a new one, from yesterday (obviously!) My favorite kind of chaos. A warm toasty room, with the cold morning outside the window. Max is banging away on the “pinano,” serenading us with Twinkle Twinkle. Amelia's knitting on the couch, Jamie, Lucinda and Ed are futzing in the kitchen, and I'm just sitting with my feet up, taking it all in. This is pretty close to a perfect day for me.
December 26 – Soul Food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
I don't eat to feed my soul. I eat to fuel my body, to allow me to go out and *do* the things that feed my soul. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a perfectly cooked steak or a warm from the oven chocolate chip cookie, but I'm by no means a “foodie” and I'm not a very adventurous eater.
We had an amazing standing rib roast, with gravy and horseradish sauce, popovers and brussel sprouts at my in-law's yesterday. It was an amazing meal. But the food isn't what I'll remember. It's how we ended up telling dirty jokes afterwards (to his PARENTS?!?!) It's Max signing the tablecloth for the first time (A family tradition; every Christmas, all the guests sign the tablecloth… it's gorgeous and I love it!) It's Max's first Christmas popper, and the usual reading of names on the tablecloth and remembering those people from holidays past. The food was there, and it was good, but it wasn't what fed my soul.
I love that photo. It shows a very happy family.
And the part about hearing your 'boys' was truly beautiful.