On our journey home from LA this morning, we stopped in Santa Barbara for their annual Cottage Hospital Holiday festivities at the Earl Warren Showground. It was a marvelous celebration filled with caroling, crafts, an appetizing feast and a visit from Papa Noel! It was great to be in a place where you felt quite understood by almost everyone in your presence. Everywhere you looked there was someone with whom you could relate, even without words. Autumn loved every minute of it, she wore her white, elegant, lacey dress which brought her great joy and a smile as wide as the ocean as people commented on its beauty.
Later in the day, we had the opportunity to meet two other girls, now teenagers, who had a Wilm’s tumor at a very young age (one at 2, the other at 6). Both girls are doing very well today with no side effects at all; I can hardly explain how elated their stories made me feel!
Santa Claus had a gift for every child in the room, including all the siblings. Sage and Lindsey were over the moon, they had no idea there was something in it for them! Sage received a Hello Kitty sewing machine that she immediately put into action the moment we returned home. Lindsey merrily displayed her gift, a large make-up set that any grown woman would envy. The only problem, it made Autumn terribly jealous because she felt her beauty-parlor doll was no match for such a lovely make-up kit which then sent her into a fit of anger and frustration for the next 20 minutes. Ugh…when does that ever end? We all tried to explain that we need to be thankful for what we have, for what we are given, but she would hear nothing of the sort!
On the ride home, Lindsey opened Autumn’s gift in the car. The moment she showed interest in it, Autumn calmed down and realized that since her gift was also desired, it must be worthy of her attention. Not exactly what Santa intended, but a lot in life can seem unfair until we live long enough to see that the grass grows on many hills, and there is always more to the story than just the other side.