Phototherapy

Today is my Cancer-versary. All day I’ve been morbidly imagining a Jacquie Lawson whimsical, animated e-card for this, though I doubt there’s some cutesy montage of a woodland animal getting scared fur-less then starting a blog. Last year, this day was a tough one. This year I’m inventing really inappropriate Christmas greetings in my head as Tinyprints offers no canned holiday slogans for the cancered. I should probably exorcize them prior to sitting down to the actual task.

Merry Christmas from ALL FOUR Lees! Not dead! Yay!!

Still here—Hair-allulia!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year (knock on wood)!

April came over today to exchange gifts, check in, and make sure I hadn’t started drinking, or possibly join me if I had (…these are the things friends do). Two years ago today, I took the life-changing call in her living room. One year ago, to mark a shitty year completed, April organized a trip to Turks & Caicos for our families (…these are the things April does). Her gift to me this year was a bound photo album of that vacation: 38 pages of gorgeous, warm, sun-kissed memories. If today was always going to be about looking backwards with fear and sadness, this lovely book of pictures flipped the switch on that.

Brodie just padded down the stairs with are-you-mad-I’m-still-awake reluctance. He’s deep into the fourth Percy Jackson, and it had gotten a little creepy. It had also gotten quite late past the allotted reading time, but I can never muster any real parental sternness for this transgression. I think many of us remember unsanctioned school night flashlight reading for just one… more… chapter. Usually mommy hugs and expert bed-tucking are the cure for the Can’t Sleeps, but tonight Brodie requested something else:

I need something good to replace the scary things in my head.

Indeed. Though I was going to save it for Christmas, Brodie needed it now. I pulled out the Anderson and Lee Family Adventure book and we reminisced over the images, erasing chapters of spooky monsters, and months of cold terror with the turn of each page. Brodie returned to his cozy bed dreaming of conch shell diving and night swimming and paddle boarding and sea turtles. I returned to my keyboard to write April (this) little thank you for a more-than-she-could-ever-know magical gift of pictures.

Anniversaries are powerful. The sights and smells of Christmastime may always harbor a twinge of fear, hesitation, superstition, and gloom for me. I still haven’t set foot in April’s living room, and I’m growing my hair like I’m trying to prove something. Certainly the cure for scary memories is to outnumber them with fabulous ones. And to do that, all I need is to surround myself with these wonderful people I call family and friends… and to stick around for many more photos.

Two years. Hair. Here. Happy. Hallelujah.

From April's book... me and the boys and a mop of hair and smiles all around

From April’s book… me and the boys and a mop of hair and smiles all around