This year, my daughter decided to get a live Christmas tree. It wasn't until she got to the front of the line at the store that she realized she'd kill the tree if she kept it inside for the three weeks until Christmas. But, it was a long line, and she liked her little tree, so she brought it home anyhow. She and Alexandra decorated it, and then put it out on the small front porch of their apartment. We talked about the risks - someone might come by and take it, but decided if that happened, it was OK - only someone who REALLY needs one would steal a Christmas tree.
Kate called me as she was walking home that day. Her biopsy had been a little more involved than mine, and it hurt. She was scared. As we talked about the experience, she arrived home. As she went up to the door, she looked at her little tree; her sign of hope. No, it wasn't gone.
Someone had added an organic, fair-trade, sea salt and almond dark chocolate to the decorations.
So, now she starts on the road I took three years ago; the road I would take again, for her, if I could; to keep her from having to travel it. Tests, surgeons, oncologists, more tests. Lots of waiting and fear.
This morning, she got up, and looked at her little tree. The angel (presumably the same one) had struck again, adding more treats.
Hope. Kindness. Stronger than darkness. Stronger than fear.