We Wish You a Merry Christmas

A group waiting for outpatient cancer surgery discovers their own Christmas cheer.

Posted in , Dec 16, 2014

Bright ornament on an icy tree limb. Photo Purestock (Thinkstock).

'Tis the season…to be stressed?

The tree is up but “undressed,” I have a total of one physical gift, online orders may not arrive in time, no plans yet for a dozen kids coming over on Saturday to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, what to do with our puppy while we’re out on Christmas Eve?

My friend Mary Whitney had this story waiting for me when I opened my email this morning. Mary will be in my prayers today, and Miss Cheerful will be in my heart.

Good morning Colleen,

Hope you are feeling his peace during this busy season. Love and prayers to you all. Here's a story and photo for you.



“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

Ten days until Christmas, and I’m on the way to outpatient surgery to have a spot of cancer removed from my neck. A group of us gather in the waiting room, each with a loved one. It’s 6:00 a.m.

A young man grumbles to a tired-looking man beside him. Another gentleman recites a list of medications to his doting wife. A woman stares at a picture hanging on the wall in front of her.

The Christmas lights on Mary Whitney's tree.Out of the corner of my eye, I see “Little Miss Cheerful” in her wheelchair. The elderly woman reminded me of a bright yellow canary earlier, happily chirping good morning to anyone glancing her way.

Suddenly the double doors open. A nurse greets us, explaining that we will be taken back to the unit together. She calls each of our names, explaining that our caregivers can join us after we get situated.

One by one we follow her inside. When it’s Miss Cheerful’s turn, she spreads her arms wide: “I’m here!” The doctors and nurses chuckle around the room. Someone switches on a radio to soft Christmas music. A new day has dawned.

Each of us is assigned a smiling nurse and a sterile white cubicle containing a stiff white bed. I answer the questions my nurse asks as she fills out the pages on her clipboard. She hurries off to retrieve a few necessities. I spy Miss Cheerful waving her arms as she shares an amusing story to the nurses gathered roundher.

I think of my devotional time in my prayer chair earlier. I picture Jesus entering the room now. Like Miss Cheerful, he spreads his arms wide. I fall into them, feeling peace fill my soul like a warm breeze caressing the sand on the beach.

The nurse returns, covering me with a warm, fuzzy blanket fresh from the microwave. It feels heavenly. I hear Miss Cheerful singing along to the radio, “We wish you a Merry Christmas.” Several of us hum along.

And as the first patient (the one who’d been so grouchy earlier) is wheeled off to surgery, he hails us all with a happy “Cheerio.” I am certain that Miss Cheerful’s Christmas wish has already been granted. It’s going to be a very merry Christmas after all.

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