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My Pink Planner's 10th Day of Christmas: A Trip to Santa

This is the third-part in a series of stories about the experiences from Christmas 2004 -- only 5 weeks after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It was December 22nd, only a few days before Christmas. I was instructed not to lift my three year-old son, Johnnie; not to do housework; and not over-exert myself.

Come on! Let's be real. It was right before Christmas, and I hadn't done most of the things a mother of a toddler does at Christmas time.

I couldn't go shopping. I couldn't drive a car. I couldn't even sign holiday cards because my right arm ached whenever Ilifted my arm to write. All I knew was that I had a toddler who knew something was wrong with his mommy.

One of the mom's at our babysitter's home had a daughter and son who Johnnie was sure had hung the moon. Mom, Bernadette, knew I had been diagnosed, and always loved her kids to play with Johnnie.

One day, she called to ask if Johnnie had seen Santa Claus yet this year. When I told her no, she said she was taking her kids to have their pictures taken with Santa,and couldshe take Johnnie with her. She knew I was in no shape to wrangle him physically, and she assured me that she could handle him. It was the hardest and easiest question I had ever answered.

I said, "Yes!"Johnnie loved Santa Claus, and never showed any fear of the red-suited, chubby old man. I wanted him to have at least this normal experience even if I couldn't be there with him.

Bernadette, Brennan and Annika brought me back a Polaroid picture of Johnnie with Santa -- one of the best memories this Mom has ever had.


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