Above are photos from Christmas, 2005. David and Katie are in front of our tree, and Katie is with cousin Joe V. on Christmas day at the party at our house.
Last year at this time, we were suffering terribly. Katie was miserable in between rounds of chemo, and the last rounds were the worst. She needed medication around the clock to help her feel just "okay," and to control nausea, as well as 2-3 injections a day, and was only interested in watching TV and movies. We were all living in one small room at Ronald McDonald House, when she wasn't in the hospital: two queen-sized beds and a window-seat/bed, a table, two chairs, a TV/VCR/DVD player and (thank goodness) our own bathroom. David and I went shopping with my sister, Debbie to buy a wreath and 2 small (fake) trees, lights and decorations that the kids could make their own, and place on the windowsill of our room. Katie wasn't interested enough to finish hers. She skipped all of the opportunities at RMcD House to join in festivities, such as making gingerbread houses, caroling, a photo session with Santa or taking a holiday cruise. She just felt too awful. If you have ever loved someone who is suffering, you know that all who love and care for her suffer with her; that is compassion. It was a really hard time for all of us, especially since Katie and David LOVE Christmas.
In desperate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of my room; I find
My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be
But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, and seeking her I have come
to thy door.
I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky and I lift
my eager eyes to thy face.
I have come to the brink of eternity from which
nothing can vanish--no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through
Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean, plunge it into the deepest
fullness. Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch in the allness of the
TAGORE, from Gitanjali(This photo was taken by David in Tofino, BC, about a week after Katie's Celebration of Life.)