It’s Christmas Eve.
Tomorrow the kids will wake up to presents under the tree.
They will be full of excitement.
I’m blessed that I have 4 wonderful kids.
A home to live in.
Food on the table.
Electricity, power, water!
So many people go without.
So why am I so sad?
This is the first Christmas without my mom.
Last year she was here but a few days after Christmas she was gone.
So much of the past year has been a blur.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that the reason she hasn’t called is because she’s gone.
Other times I pick up the phone and call her house letting it ring.
The voicemail still picks it up.
I want to leave a message and say “Call me Mom! I need to talk to you!”
Every year I struggled with what to get Mom for Christmas.
Not this year.
There was no present to buy.
No card to worry about mailing on time.
You never think your mom is going to die.
And then she does.
But then I think about the people who never had a Mom.
I worked cases for the foster care system.
I’ve seen children who never knew their mother.
And some who did–unfortunately.
Their moms weren’t loving or caring.
Some were just so addicted to drugs and alcohol that even their desire to be a mother was clouded by their cravings for their drugs.
You know I may not be addicted to cocaine or meth.
I may not be an alcoholic.
But I’ve eaten enough twinkies in my life that the creme filling is running through my veins.
I couldn’t run and play with my kids because I weighed over 400 pounds and walking is painful.
Isn’t that in some ways similar to what all addicts do?
They put something above their own family.
Is a brownie more important than my children?
Look at me and you will see what’s become the driving force in my life.
But that was before.
The surgery has changed things.
It has given me the chance to walk away from the brownies.
If you had something that was killing you and you had the chance to cut it out of your life–would you?
I cut over 80% of my stomach out of my body willingly.
That’s what they did.
They literally removed it.
And you know what?
I don’t miss it one bit.
My Christmas present this year is not what I will get.
But what is gone.
I’m grateful for everything this surgery has given me.
But it’s still work.
The brownies still call but I don’t answer.
But holidays are hard aren’t they?
Full of candy canes and chocolates.
Full of memories of the people you won’t be singing Christmas Carols with this year.
And that hurts.
And that’s the trigger that sends you to the refrigerator.
But not this year. Not anymore. Now there is hope.
And this holiday is all about hope.
His birth gives me hope.
It gives me a reason to believe that I can change.
And I love that.