Tuesday, December 05, 2006


During this holiday season many of us know those who seem to be surviving although they have very little to enjoy. I happen to know a survivor. She too is enjoying life no matter what she has been through or suffering at this time. She grew up in a house of physical abuse, was raped three times between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, she and her child were burnt out of their home three days before Christmas in 1974, laid in a semi-comatose state facing death at the age of thirty on Thanksgiving in 1983, and two decades later lost her home and sought help from the government. Now this woman is sitting and waiting for news on a biopsy she just had done to see if she has cervical cancer. Who is this woman? It is me.

If you wonder why I tell you all this at this time, it is because I still have feelings of joy. It is Christmas, the season to celebration the birth of Jesus. It is my faith that has always gotten me through the hard and rough times I have faced before and survived. This one is no different. Although I have lost much in the last five years after changing careers, I will still celebrate this holiday season. I have a roof over my head, heat to keep me comfortable, water to bathe in, a family that loves me, friends that care, sharing writing partners, neighbors that look out for me, and a sense of myself as I go through transformations. I also have a relationship with God. I talk with him a lot. I pray to him a lot. And I believe in him and all he is.

After living for 53 years, I learned that the simple things mean so much to me, the things that cannot be bought. Like waking up each day to see either the sun, rain, or snow, knowing my son, a police officer, went to work that day and came home. Having a mother that calls me if she hasn’t heard from me for a few days just to check up on me. Still having the ability to read and write the printed word. And going back to school and still loving learning that which is new to me. Do I worry? Of course. Am I afraid? You bet. Am I ever depressed? Naturally but, I have my faith and it has never once let me down.

So this holiday season no matter what the results are of my biopsy, I will still survive. As in the past, the good Lord will not let me down. He will, as before, hold my hand, lift me up, carry me if necessary, feed me strength, shine the light down the path I must travel, and bless me with joy. It is the only way I can and have always survived. Happy Holidays to you and yours.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh. Lucky you visited my blog. I have had cancer. I fervently hope your biopsy proves negative, but if it doesn't, I am here for you. I was just talking to another blogger who might use "Life Begins with Cancer." It's one of my first-perosn essays on how cancer got me started on a new, more wonderful life that includes writing. Anyone interested can read its sister first-person essay on my website at http://CarolynHoward-Johnson.com.

Thanks for visiting, Sylvia. Take care. You are a treasure.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

5:53 PM  

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