Christmas List


First of all, I want to thank everyone who has made a contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project or to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation in the name of my grand-nephew Doug Vitale.  I can’t imagine a cause more worthy than the cause of assisting those brave women and men who’ve served our country — particularly those who’ve kept us safe by sacrificing their own health and well being.  Brave people such as Doug.  Thank you, veterans everywhere!

Christmas is upon us, now, so I’ve been drawing up a list.  There’s nothing on this list for me.  It’s not a list of things I want to get.  If Christmas were about getting things then every day would be Christmas for me.  I would never have imagined that any woman could get so much from so many over such a long period of time.  I certainly would never have imagined that that woman would be me!   Being the recipient of so much giving has left me feeling inadequate to the task of thanking you.  My heart is full of unexpressed appreciation and gratitude.  Toward all of you, every single one.  My heart is full of unexpressed love for all of you too.

I probably spend more time than I should, wondering what possible purpose was served when I developed brain cancer.   I really do wonder about that; but even more I wonder how I ever got lucky enough to be treated so well by all of you.

Anyway, I don’t need a list of things to get; but I would like to share my list of the things I’d like to give:

First of all, I’d like to give something to my extended families — to all the Vitales, and to all the Bradfords.  I’d like to give all of you a vacation from worry and concern and stress.  I’d love to give my six siblings a good reason to stop being anxious about their youngest sister.  I’d like to be able to tell all of you that everything, everything, everything is going to be all right.

Secondly, I’d love to give my friends one tenth of the support they’ve shown me.  They say that it’s when times get hard that you find out who your real friends are.  I’m finding out that I have the best, the truest friends anyone could possibly want.  This journey would be so lonely if it weren’t for all the love, and generosity and prayer all you wonderful friends have sent my way.

Next on my list is my wish for all the doctors and researches who are looking for a cure to this horrible disease.  I’d like to give you millions and billions — whatever it takes to get the job done.  Since the money can’t come from me I hope it will come from wonderful charities and generous donors.  I hope it will come from our government (c’mon you congressmen, spend some money on what REALLY matters!).  I hope it come from anywhere, I just want it to come.  God doesn’t give us easy solutions to all our problems, but he does give us the means to work out solutions on our own — we just have to have the will, and the determination.

I have a wish for my parish community — that you can enjoy a new year full of peace, good health and meaningful commitment to what is important.  I know what the face of Jesus looks like, because I see it in all of your faces.

To all of Auntie’s angels, my dear nieces and nephews.  I wish you many weekends of fun, and laughter, and no tears.  I wish for you to receive back all the generosity and love and support you’ve given to me and Paul and to Angelique.

Here’s something else on my list:  I’d love to give my husband his wife back — the girl he could laugh with and have fun with.  The woman he could count on, and depend on.  Do you remember that woman?  I wonder if I still do.

I’d like to give my daughter the knowledge that even though ‘everything’ might not be all right, she will be all right.  I want her to know how proud I am of her, and I want her to know how worthy she is of every good thing that life has to offer.

I said I’d make a list of things to give.  But I suppose there really is something I’d like to get:  I’d really, really love to get a week off from nausea.  That powerful chemotherapy is killing the cancer inside of me — and don’t think I’m not happy about it — but I’d like to wake up some morning without wanting to hurl.  I’d like the food I eat to stay put.  I’d like to stop needing to have my ‘little green pail’ always nearby and at the ready.

The last thing on my list is the most important.  I want to give God all.  I want Him to have all my love and all my gratitude.  I want Him to have the whole of my soul.  I want Him to have my permission to take over the reins.  God, you know I can’t manage this on my own!

“Merry Christmas” to all of you who celebrate it; and to those who don’t, please know that you’re on my list too.  I love you more than I can say.  You’re more wonderful than you know!



About pamvbradford

I am a fifty seven year old banker specializing in government banking. I have a beautiful twenty-one year old daughter and a wonderful husband. My husband and I recently downsized, and purchased a beautiful condo in Watertown MA. We love our new home. I know I am a very fortunate person. I am surrounded by supportive family members, by supportive coworkers and by the marvelous support of our faith community at Sacred Heart Parish in Lexington MA. As the Psalm says, "There is nothing that I lack." My whole life changed on July 18, 2012 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The news came from out of the blue. My tumor was removed by the marvelous Dr. Mark Johnson and his wonderful team of surgeons at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The surgery truly was a miracle. I couldn't possibly have gotten better care. Now the 'easy' part is over. The tough part is to learn to walk with God in the midst of danger and surprise. My mood shifts from gratitude to fear and back again but I know God has a purpose for me. There's a reason I didn't die on the operating table. There's something that God wants me to do. This blog is my effort to share with others, with all of you, what it is that I am learning as I put one foot ahead of the other, live each day as it comes, and discover what it is that God has to teach me. Your prayers keep me going. Your love comforts me. Your knowledge and faith guide and teach me. God bless you all!
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8 Responses to Christmas List

  1. B.J. Mulherin says:

    God must surely hold you in the hollow of his loving hands.

  2. ronald lancaster says:

    Thanks for the vacation from worry. I have started it immediately! Great post. Your beautiful heart shows in all your writing!


  3. Pingback: Christmas List | Jaye's Brain

  4. Abby says:

    Pammy, you make me so grateful to have you in my life. I would give you a thousand times over what you’ve given to me over these 21 silly years Liqa and I have been connected at the hip.
    And don’t worry about the food, my mom and I are already planning on cooking your favorite latkes and I learned how to make apple sauce tonight so that’s on the docket as well. I can’t wait to see you in a few days!

  5. Lisa Cimino says:

    Dear Sweet Pam – you are so beautiful! Thank you for your perfect words during this special season. Praying that God will show you how easy it is for Him to take the reigns!
    Lisa xxoo

  6. Mary Ellen says:

    I love you Pammy.

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