on christmas eve

It’s Christmas Eve, and as I type this — with my hands smelling of butter and vanilla — the pumpkin pies are baking in the oven, the cornbread dressing has been prepared and is awaiting its final bake tomorrow, the sugar cookies for Santa have been decorated, there is a fresh batch of fudge cooling on the counter, and the kids are riding their bikes outside.

It’s unseasonably warm — close to 80 degrees this last week. I’ve done my fair share of complaining about the warmth, but truthfully, it’s great weather for sending the kids outside to play. And, boy have mine needed to get out and run some energy off.

Our Elf on the Shelf, Ollie, has been probably been filling Santa’s ear with enough fodder for years to come. Madeline has been the sweetest child ever, but Oliver…well, Oliver is a boy and he’s five. That’s probably all I need to say for you to understand what we’re going through. Ollie the Elf got ticked off this morning at Oliver’s behavior and took a hike back to the North Pole earlier than planned. Turns out that Ollie leaving early seems to have helped matters some.

I’m just thankful that the Elf finally had a positive impact on behavior. We’ve sure waited long enough.

So, tomorrow is Christmas. What I’m most looking forward to is spending tomorrow with my family. The kids will wake us up early, but the excitement on their faces as they open their presents and dig through their stockings will be worth any amount of aggravation from lost sleep. My parents and in-laws will come over for an afternoon meal, filled with more food than any of us can eat. I’ll be thinking of my sweet brother, who won’t be with us tomorrow but who I’ll hopefully get to see again in the spring.

The beauty of Christmas is that there are no expectations for the day, other than to relax, enjoy each others’ company, feel blessed, and of course, to eat well.

And, of course, we’ve mastered the eating well part.

My wish to you is that — whether you’re celebrating Christmas or not — you enjoy a day filled with love, joyfulness, beauty, and peace. Thank you for being a part of my life. I’m grateful to you for that.


*Photos by Shandon of Lifeprints Photography.



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15 Responses to “the nurse”

  1. Gail — October 3, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    This is just one of the reasons why I love you. xoxoxo

  2. Maria Raynal — October 3, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    Me too. That inevitable intersection where life, death, hope and heartbreak collide … it sneaks up on us in so many ways.

  3. Cookin Canuck — October 3, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    You took me by surprise with this, MJ, and I’m having difficulties fighting back the tears. Thank you for sharing your emotions in such a raw, honest way. I can imagine that your own experiences make you even better at your job. That man is very lucky to have you as his doctor.

  4. Carolyn — October 3, 2014 @ 11:40 am

    I was going to say pretty much exactly what Dara said — about the tears, the honesty, the way that living your life fully can only make you better and better at your job. Instead I”ll just say: you’re wonderful. xx

  5. Paula — October 3, 2014 @ 11:42 am

    For many, it is hard to put words to our grief. I have so much respect and admiration for you and for your ability to finds words that so eloquently and meaningfully convey what you are feeling. Your writing is intensely beautiful, much like your spirit I’m sure.

  6. Susan - ofeverymoment — October 3, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    As a nurse, it warms my heart to read of such compassion by a person in my profession. As a caregiver who has lost a special person when being cared for in a hospital, I understand how hard it was for you to enter that IMC.
    Your father’s illness gave you insight that cannot be learned in medical school, and it is his legacy to all your patients. Thank you for writing this beautiful piece.

  7. Sabrina Modelle — October 3, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

    You are pretty freaking amazing. That is all.

  8. Liz Larkin — October 3, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

    I love your writing, MJ. it’s heartfelt, and true, and so lovely.

  9. Janis — October 3, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    you are such a good writer.

  10. Mimi — October 3, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

    I just wish there were more female doctors. A beautiful post.

  11. cherie — October 3, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

    You are so compassionate because you are so aware of your OWN feelings. No matter the outcome, you are a blessing to your patients. I am very grateful to know there are doctors like you in the world.

    I’m typing through tears, wishing I could give you a hug myself. Yet another reminder that everyone is struggling.

  12. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — October 3, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

    Youe strength and vulnerability is such an inspiration. Xoxo

  13. Rachel — October 5, 2014 @ 8:00 am

    You are incredible. Patients are lucky to have you as their physician.
    Know this was hard.

  14. Laura — October 8, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    So heartfelt. Beautiful. Thank you.

  15. Mallory+@forkvsspoon — October 14, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    You are amazing. I have no other words. This post, like so many others of yours, has left me in awe. Thank you for being so vulnerable.

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