It’s Comin’ on Christmas…

All the presents are wrapped, waiting to be packed in boxes and sent south to NJ. They’re leaving ahead of me, since I’m traveling by train. I’ve grown to love “The Vermonter.” Just me and a book, snug in my seat, rocking peacefully for a few hours as the towns glide by outside. It feels romantic and nostalgic, too, as if I’ve stepped inside the world of a vintage travel poster.

The end of my ride is Penn Station. Claire will be there to meet me crying, “Mama!” and greeting me with bright eyes and her wonderful smile as we rush towards each other. We’ll take a cab to her place; Bailey the cat will cry with longing when the key jiggles the lock. He’ll see it’s both of his girls and lap up all the love and cooing we bestow upon him. It’ll feel so good to be there.

There. Not here in this apartment of mine, where I’ve spent most of this year, sick, then mending and eventually longing for the day when the scenery around me would change. This year took me on a different kind of journey, filled with new and often frightening territory, although I soon realized I didn’t have time to be scared. I had cancer and I needed to prepare for battle, body, mind and spirit. The cancer journey isn’t for the faint of heart, this I know is true. But there are silver linings, both small and momentous and the word grateful has never crossed my mind as many times as it did this year.

My strength is coming back and my hair is growing in. The fight is finally over. It’s fitting that it’s year’s end, since I’m eager for the next chapter, my re-entry into the world. I’m a wee bit shaky and my emotions still trip me up, but I know I’ll be OK. I just need to remind myself, I’m a survivor.

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