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Making the Most of the Holidays
Two HPEN consumers share how they find joy in what can be a difficult time of year.
Paul, who is unable to swallow due to surgery, often shares tips and news with a "cancer survivor” e-mail list that he maintains. He recently wrote that he was going to "make the most of the holidays this year.” So we asked him what he planned on doing. Here’s his reply.We (my wife and I) enjoy the holidays, but just "differently.” We usually do a Christmas Eve church service someplace (New Year’s Eve, also) and big sit-down dinners with friends or families—though the meal portion is really pretty brief. It’s mostly anticipation…I used to love the crisp turkey skin, and often nibble on a small piece of it for the flavor. I keep a small green vitamin or supplement bottle with me and discreetly spit the skin out after the flavor is gone (no one even knows what I am doing).
On Thanksgiving, my wife, Nikki, goes early to an American Legion auxiliary group and helps prepare takeout meals for home-bound elderly and poor folks. Volunteers then deliver them—600 last year in our small town of 4,400. She is also the dispatcher and plans the routes. She’s been doing it for years.
The day after Thanksgiving is our local "dessert party.” One couple has been baking ten to twenty exotic (delicious) cakes for about fifteen years now. Several hundred attend. They bring wine, and take just a sliver of cake apiece. But the husband has come down with quick and serious cancer, and they will just be hosting it this year. Many will bring a cake with them….Life goes on. They do fireworks along our big river afterwards, and they have a large house, which has always been beautifully decorated for Christmas. They have a "loaded” Christmas tree in every room, for example.
We participate heavily in our Marine Toys for Tots Christmas program each year, too, along with our local sheriff’s organization. We’re all too "busy” to be sick. My suggestion? Be too busy to be sick, and bring happiness to others. It will make you happy, too. We all go to bed exhausted.
Fulfillment without FoodMarie Latta
Adapted from a posting on the Oley-Inspire Forum November 20, 2011, and reprinted with permission of Marie’s daughter, Gina.
We have got such a variety of reasons for not being able to eat orally... and for all of us, just as many different feelings about a diet that doesn’t include "real” food.
Yes, we have lost this one biggee, not by choice. But maybe we do have some positive choices. How many of our lives have been saved because we are on a formula or parenteral nutrition?
When I think of food-oriented holidays, I wonder what else is a part of these big days. What else is there on holidays or other celebration days?
Fellowship. I need it. I think we were created for community. Fellowship fills my heart.
Friends. Even just a few faithful friends. Or what about even one life-long friend?
Favorite things. Maybe it is just hugging someone’s new baby when they arrive for dinner.
I had to give up food, a biggee, but I don’t have to give up everything. Do I want to live a frustrating lonely life or a fulfilling life? I choose fulfillment.
I hope each of us is able to fight our way through the desire for food and forge our way into a fulfilling life... and a fulfilling joyful holiday season.
LifelineLetter, November/December 2012