What to say to a Neurosurgeon at Christmas

We’re a wee bit behind on our Christmas cards this year. No big deal, its just that I’m flying through them tonight while Chris is at band practice. I hope to get them all in the mail tomorrow. This time seems easier than in previous years because our return address came pre-printed on the flap of the envelope! All I have to do is stuff it, stamp it and make sure the addresses that we have are current and not outdated by a few years. True story.

I got as far as I could this evening  before using up my last stamp on The Finches, with just eight cards left to go…

But I didn’t pack it all up and go watch The Avengers like I had planned to all day. Instead, I picked up a card and its accompanying envelope that is addressed to Dr. Robert Breeze. This wasn’t the first time I picked it up tonight. I picked it up and placed it back down about three times. One time I even attempted a heart felt message on the back, goofed it up, and had to replace it with our clean family copy that I already tacked up on our fridge. I’m nervous, you see.

Signing Christmas cards stopped being easy for a moment when I came upon one for the Neurosurgeon.
Signing Christmas cards stopped being easy for a moment when I came upon one for the Neurosurgeon.

Dr. Breeze was Chris’s neurosurgeon from last March. Yea, that guy. The one who spent nine and half hours picking at a stubborn tumor deep in my husband’s brain. The one who put all of his pride and self aside when he decided it wasn’t safe to continue on. The one who hung his head in our presence after the surgery was over, admitting defeat and failure on his part. 

The one whose hands saved my husband from any number of devastating neurological damages that we sign release waivers for prior to brain surgery.

And so I thought I’d send him a Christmas Card.

As I look upon the smiling faces of myself with Chris and our boys on the front our Christmas card this year, I see us deeply enjoying our lives together…remembering how we looked upon each day with a little more gratitude; we held hands a little tighter; we hugged more often; we laughed deeper; we slowed down…Knowing full well, that it was by Dr. Breeze’s skill and the unmatched grace of God that we were given such abundant opportunities following a very dark and uncertain beginning of 2013. 

And I wonder, what do I possibly write on the back of this card. Do I find appropriate words of thanks? Or do I simply just wish him a Merry Christmas?

I can guess that my nerves have tripped me up tonight because I realize that in less than one month from now, I will look at the calendar, at the square in the month of January with the 19 on it, and not believe that a year has passed since brain time began. It unnerves me because I still struggle when I think about it all.  Just the other day, Chris shivered as he walked into the family room (that is always colder than the rest of the house) and his body movement was a trigger for me, sending my mind back to that night of his seizure and before I knew it, I quick snapped at him and told him not to move like that. He gets it. He understands when there are times that trip me up. It might be like that a while? But, I think it’s time to move on. If I do move on, now would be the time to come back to my writing about it…writing through the scariness of that night; writing through the memories that jar me. But I have to do it. I believe people need to hear the story. I believe it can help those who may be walking the tight rope through unexpected family crisis.

If I figure out what to write to Dr. Breeze, then maybe that will be the first step for me back onto the road of facing it again. I will search my heart for the words. I’m sure that is what I’ve been doing, but the hold up is that all of the emotions get in the way and I’m left with a messy collection of this word and that word and this thought about it and that memory of a thing… all jumbled in the front part of my mind.

And really, I don’t prefer this kind of dramatic, heart-tugging writing. I try to avoid it because, 1. I don’t like to feel sad and B. I prefer fun, surfac-y kind of prose. But I understand there are appropriate times for the heavy stuff. This being one of them. Sometimes that heavy stuff coming right out of the heart turns out to be the very best stuff. 

So, there ya go. I’ll head back to looking at this, here, card next to me and see what I come up with. Maybe I’ll still reward myself with some Avengers action before this night is through.


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