Christmas Eve is such a wonderful day when you have children.
It is full of anticipation and excitement thinking of the special visitor who will be calling later.
From early morning my youngest had acted like the town crier, “One more day”, was her mantra.
All the presents were wrapped and under the tree.
Much feeling and guessing had gone on, with some even assuring us they definitely knew what was inside.
The house had been tidied to a degree rarely seen.
In fact my daughter remarked “the last time the house looked like this was when Nana was coming to stay”.
The turkey was awaiting stuffing, the desserts were made and the ham steeping.
All systems were ready to go.
As Christmas songs blasted out on the radio, there was a great buzz all around the house.
However for a time I felt detached.
My mind couldn’t help but wander back to this day last year.
My young friend was coming out of hospital.
He had been diagnosed with leukemia just a few weeks.
He’d begun chemo, had his first bone marrow biopsy,
and spent the first of many weeks in hospital.
He was not yet very sick, and still had a full head of hair.
I recall going to see him and having a quiet word with his mum.
I raised the possibility of him losing his hair over Christmas.
If he did maybe he might prefer to shave it?
A conversation so at odds with the season.
A conversation just five weeks earlier we could never have imagined.
I remember hearing On St Stephens day that he decided to shave his hair.
It never got a chance to grow back.
My mind continued to wander through the year,
despite my best efforts to think of something else.
So I decided, to go up to my room and take the five minutes I needed,
to think of my young friend and to mourn and to miss him.
When I returned to the mayhem of my kitchen my husband came to me.
He began to speak and then stopped.
“What?”, I said.
“Well, he said reluctantly, I don’t know where this came from but I just found it here”.
He was holding a Christmas card in his hand.
I opened it and couldn’t believe my eyes.
It was the Christmas card my young buddy had given me last year.
“Happy Christmas Tric,
Thank you for all your help”.
I have no idea where it came from. Why it was in the kitchen or who put it there?
But the timing was perfect.
Yes, my warrior friend,
I will have a “Happy Christmas”,
And I dearly hope that where ever you are,
you too will be having all the fun you loved to have when you were here.