20121208_205424

2012

A year ago today my heart was filled with profound sadness.  I knew that it would be our last Christmas as a complete family.  I knew that, a year later, I would again battle with Christmas Eve.  I knew then that I would be filled with sadness the next time we sat under a Christmas tree.  I knew that never again would Vic open a gift, sit on Santa’s lap…  

I remember Vic’s last minute shopping and how difficult is was for my precious baby girl to buy her gifts.  She had been too ill to shop in advance.  I remember my impatience with Vic in Edgars.  I knew she was looking for my gift and that she was wearing her little body out trying to find something appropriate for her mommy – my final gift.  I knew that the effort was just too much for her dying body.  I vividly remember her refusing to use her wheelchair.  I remember Jared helping his mommy – literally holding her  upright in the queue.  I remember my anger at the department store because it took so long to process the sales…. I knew that Vic would pay the price for shopping later that day and I wanted a perfect Christmas Eve… An evening embedded in our memories as the best Christmas Eve ever.

Christmas Eve 2010
Christmas Eve 2010

A year ago I posted this:

It is Christmas Eve.  It is a warm, and sunny-day, and my heart is cold.

This is our last Christmas as a complete family.

Vic has been vomiting non-stop.  The acid has burnt the inside of her mouth.  Her derriere is so lumpy, black and blue from the constant injections.  Sr Siza popped in.  She examined Vic and started drawing up a Clopamon and Morphine injection.

“Please Sister, not my bum.  Please do it on my thigh.”

Vic no longer has an appetite.  She is sleeping at least 20 out of 24 hours.  Vic is very warm to the touch and appears flushed.  The thermometer reflects a temperature of 37 degrees C.

“Do you understand what your body is telling you Vic?”  Siza asked

Vic nodded and whispered “I do not want to die…”

“Nobody wants to die, Vicky.  We all will walk this path.  Some sooner than others… You have a degenerative illness and your body is tired…”

“You must surrender your body to God.  It is time for your brain to make peace with what is happening in your body.” Siza said.  “Where is your Bible?”

Siza read from Ecclesiastes 3 – New International Version (NIV)

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Siza prayed for Vic and the family for peace and grace in this time.  Vic cried and Danie gently held her.

Danie, and I walked with Siza.  Her eyes were sad when she said “Her body is shutting down.  It could be quick or it could be a few weeks.”

The rest of Christmas Eve passed as if I was in a daze.  Lani and the kids arrived, my dear friend Judy arrived after a marathon charity event and the smell of gammon and roast lamb permeated the house.  The tables looked festive, and there were tons of gifts under the tree.

Vic handed out the gifts.  The kids shrieked with delight.  A  lot of thought went into the gifts.  The gifts were truly gifts of love.

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

   a time to be born and a time to die,

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Vic, Lani and Tom

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