It’s Christmas morning, 2018. Our plans for the day are simple: friends will come to our house at 10 to deliver a nice Christmas breakfast. Late this afternoon, we will visit other friends who have invited us over for a Christmas dinner. I hope I can maintain my stamina long enough to get through both events. As I write this, I’m hopeful I can, but not certain. The last few weeks have been stressful, both physically and mentally. Dealing with the after-effects of lung cancer surgery has been an unwelcome challenge, something I never dreamed I would have to face. But here I am and the challenge confronts me, whether I like it or not. My options are limited.
On the one hand, I feel defeated and hopeless. The prospect of twelve weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments is numbing. On the other hand, I feel an obligation to try to maintain some sense of cheer so that I don’t drag my wife into the doldrums with me. I need to be hopeful and cheerful and confident in the future so she has a positive buoy to keep her emotions afloat.
Though I suspect it will be difficult for me, I will try to become and remain positive and exude hope and certainty that I will overcome the health challenges I face. What harm can it do to paint myself as hopeful, even if I’m not feeling it? I’m sure it can do some good; it can, perhaps, twist me out of my depression and into a sense of joy at all the good things at my doorstep. I don’t know. I will see, I suppose.
This Christmas is, in spite of all the good wishes sent to me from all around, I’m in a gloomy mood. I hope to look back on this day, one year hence, and contrast it with the absolute joy I feel at being alive. We’ll see, won’t we? I hope we will.