red ink. . .
During the lead up to Christmas this year, I was especially grateful for two of the annual “markers” of the holiday season that my hubby and I are fortunate to enjoy together, year after year. Our dear friends in Chicago invite us to share a bit of adult time with them, complete with the best bands in town, dancing all night, great people and wonderful food.
With Barb’s pending surgery, along with the health challenges that my son has been facing recently (more on that in a later post), I was finding it kind of hard to get into the spirit this year, and didn’t even get motivated to shop for dresses until the week before these events, unlike my girl who shopped with abandon to find the just right dress for her holiday soiree with her hubby. Let me tell you, I usually need NO motivation to shop! I felt a mix of guilt and just plain sadness, but I got myself together thinking about my girl who styled her way through chemo and everything else and would absolutely chastise me for not doing my thing.
We had a great time the first night out except that, although I found an absolutely beautiful dress and wore it well, somebody else at the party had on my dress! I know some of you have had that experience. Now I absolutely can’t afford couture but still believe somehow that I should have on a unique creation. I whipped off a text to my girl sharing my humbling moment, and she shot back an LOL and wanted to know who would win the critics choice in a side by side comparison. (The other woman put on a shawl after seeing me, so I think I won. LOL) The fact that celebrities in magazines somehow manage to wear the same dress didn’t completely comfort me. Oh well!
Nevertheless, I got ready for event #2, praying that no one would have on my next dress! So my first present that night was that I was indeed dressed uniquely! And yes, my dress was red! 🙂
The most important present though came late in the evening. We were seated at a table with one of my dear friend’s godsister, who is a BC survivor. My friend shared with me earlier that her godsister had been through a lot with BC, but no details. As I watched her and her hubby (who had flown to town for the event) that night laughing, dancing, singing and sharing such joy together, I was filled with a hopefulness — about my dear friend and her next Christmas season — that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking her about her BC journey, but later that evening when we were seated together at the after-party, she volunteered information about what she’d been through to bring her to this point, and I took the opportunity to tell her about Barb and her upcoming surgery. As it turned out she’d had a similar surgery months before and shared a wealth of detailed information, including fashion tips (she too, was a chick with style), that I couldn’t wait to share with Barb the next day.
The most important thing that she shared though was the clear view of the other side – where there is laughter and hope and loving and fun! I will always remember walking to the elevator with our hubbies at 2 a.m., and laughing out loud at some silliness. This encounter was truly one of my greatest gifts this Christmas season, and brought such needed joy and most importantly, HOPE!