I can honestly say that this has been the most amazing Hanukkah I have ever celebrated—and it had nothing to do with gifts.
Long-time readers will recall that 3 years ago, I mentioned my best friend’s struggle with breast cancer. Since 2015, she has been through literal hell, fighting such a horrible disease and watching her personal and professional life disintegrate because of it.
Since we live on opposite sides of the country, it has been so hard for me to support her. Yes, we talk and text daily, yet it never seems to be enough. I did go to California when she had surgery, but every day since, I have missed her and thought of her, prayed for and with her, and felt incredibly guilty I couldn’t do more.
Last Monday, I got the surprise of my life when she showed up at my door, with her kids, totally unannounced! (To me, anyway). It had all been arranged between her and my hubby, as a combo Hanukkah/birthday surprise (My B-day is 12/12). Neither one of them is good at keeping secrets, so this was a major coup!
I was so shocked to see her, literally close enough to hug, that I started to cry! The tears of joy have flowed regularly during her visit, along with tons of laughter, cooking together, shopping, some crafts, and endless good conversation.
This is truly what life is all about—people. The people we love, being there for them, allowing them to be there for us, and sharing our lives.
Did I intend to take an entire week off from blogging? No way! But I’m so glad I did, because I will cherish these memories forever. Currently, she is in remission, but there is no guarantee for tomorrow. No matter how much time we have, whether it’s a long life or a short one, we need to make each day count.
Too often, Hanukkah centers around lavish displays and expensive presents, rushing around, feeling overwhelmed, and not enjoying the celebration. I’ve done that in the past and it was miserable! That’s why I’m so glad that this year was different, it was all about relationships, and finding fulfillment through that.
Gifts are great, don’t get me wrong, but things will never replace people. Family, friends, and faith should be our focus. I am so grateful to God that I have all of that in my life, and so much more.