Elizabeth loved Christmas; it was her favorite time of the year but this year would be different, for this year it looked like she wouldn’t be able to go home for the holidays. Divorced for two years and suffering from the beginning stages of muscular dystrophy, the chances of going home were small. She felt lucky that she still had strength to work at City Loan but in the coming years that would change.
At forty-five she still looked wonderful and on her good days she felt as if she could do just about anything.
It was a week before Christmas and her mom had been phoning her regularly for the past month, wanting her to come back home. But the sixty mile trip would just be too much, she thought, and so she prepared to stay home and maybe invite Ted, her long-time boyfriend, over for a small Christmas dinner and exchanging of gifts.
She did; however, feel optimistic after talking with her physician just days ago and finding out that with a combination of new medications, the disease could, at least, be kept at bay for a few years. She began the new medication that very morning and already she was feeling more hopeful that with the years remaining, she could be productive and enjoy the life that Christ has given her. Of course, she knew inevitably that the disease would kick in and life would become more difficult but in times of trouble or uncertainty she knew that she could count on God’s promises and blessings. One of her favorite passages from the Bible that sustained her in such troubled times was the phrase, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
The days passed quickly and soon it was the 23rd of December. She had just got home from the bank and was unpacking some groceries, when the phone rang. It was her Mother and she was still insistent on her coming..
“Hi Mom. How are you doing? What’s up, as if I couldn’t guess?”
“Hi dear. How are you doing? Have you started the new medication yet and if so, do you feel better?”
“Yes, I do think I f eel better but of course, I just started the medication this morning.”
“Dear, your sister Anne can pick you up and bring you for dinner. She just called to say that she could. Couldn’t you see it in your heart to come? It’s been such a long time since we’ve seen you? And, maybe you could bring Ted. He’s such a nice fellow; we all like him.”
“Mom, you know I would like to come but I’m just not sure if I would be good company. Even though I’m feeling better, I could have a relapse or just suddenly not feel well. I think I’d better stay home. But thanks so much for asking; you know my heart will be with you all.”
“Well, alright dear. I won’t argue anymore on this. You know how you feel and if you’re up to it. But, please call sometime during the day, alright?”
“Will do and give my love to everyone. Take care, Mom and God Bless.”
She hung up the phone and then went to the living room and settled into her oversized and very comfortable recliner.
She did feel better but still quite tired. The need for rest came upon her swiftly and soon she found herself nodding off.
About an hour later, she awoke to the phone ringing. It was Ted.
“Hi Hon. How are you doing? How is the new medication working for you?”
Groggy and still full of sleep she replied, “Oh pretty good, Ted. The new meds seem to be helping. Just feel awfully tired.”
“Are you going to your folks for Christmas?”
“No, don’t think so. I’d like to go but I don’t want to burden them with my illness.”
“Listen, if you want to go and feel up to it, I’ll take you. They wouldn’t mind me tagging along would they?”
“No, they wouldn’t mind. They love having people over and besides you know they like you…But well…I don’t know….
“That’s it! We’re going to your folks for Christmas and I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer!”
Christmas arrived and so did Ted and Elizabeth for Christmas dinner. The doorbell rang and Elizabeth’s mom answered the door. “Hey everyone, my daughter and Ted are here; bring out the joy and food!”
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