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The O'Grady family has a wish for Santa

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With Christmas quickly approaching, Santa is listening for Christmas wishes. With the days building up to Christmas, stories featuring inspiration, courage, heartbreak and strength will follow with special Letters to Santa series.

Rochelle and Rick O'Grady share their letter to Santa: hope you enjoy.

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Dear Santa,

I'm writing this letter to you not asking for material things: like a new purse, diamond earrings, or a new car (don't get me wrong I'd love all of those things!) instead I'm asking for things much harder to acquire.

I'm asking for better health this year, not only for me but especially for my husband. See Santa, we were both diagnosed with cancer five months apart this year. My husband with diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer and I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. We have four children and would like to continue to see them grow, mature, graduate, go to college, get married and have children of their own.

I'm asking for continued patience. Sometimes when life throws you a curve ball it's hard to not want things resolved now! I've learned a great deal of patience this year and it's a wonderful virtue to have accepted. In a world of “trying to get places five minutes faster,” or “the grocery line is too long,” or “the person in front of you is taking forever,” I learned that those things don't really matter and most things in life are worth the wait.

I'm asking for a great sense of humor . On the days when my husband and I went to the infusion center to get chemo together, we could only say, “the couple who shares chemo together, stays together.” I also shared the same hair style as my husband- bald. I want to never loose my sense of humor. Some days that's just the way you have to look at things and then say, “isn't that ironic!” People are way to serious Santa...life is to precious to be so serious. It's a scientific fact that laughter lessens stress and if you have less stress you have a better immune system!

I wish that a serious illness didn't push people out of my life or my husbands. I know some people don't know how to react or talk to someone with the big “C” , but little do they know...that is when someone needs you the most. A little empathy goes a long way.

On the opposite hand of that statement, Santa, I wish everyone could experience the complete and random acts of kindness we have experienced from strangers. The kinds words, wishes and prayers from people that I never knew. This is what life, love and humanity is all about. We need to appreciate what God has given us...LIFE....never take it for granted. We're so busy in this short life with jobs, phones, the Internet, sports, shopping and just random STUFF that don't really matter if your loved one isn't here to share it with you.

I hope the people that have been in our lives directly over the last year, know how much we love and appreciate them.

I hope that our positive attitude makes an impact on the people we meet. You CAN get through anything in life . Don't sweat the small things.

I wish that everyone could experience God's grace. God has been so good to us this year. Yes! As ironic as it sounds, with our journey over the last year, he has brought wonderful blessings in our lives. He has returned people in our hearts that have changed us into stronger, gentler, more patient, loving, understanding, humble and faithful people.

I wish for a less scary and a happier life for my children. Santa, they've been through an awful lot this year, more than most for kids their age. They've handled our situation like troopers and deserve the best! Children shouldn't have to deal with such traumatic experiences, especially times two...with both parents. They shouldn't have to worry about cancer, chemo, surgeries, sickness and death. With all the ups and downs this year, they still go on and try to be “kids”.

I dream of the day when my husband has a clear PET scan and remains cancer free. He amazes me everyday with his strength and courage. He continues to work full-time despite weekly chemo treatments and all his fatigue. He's a remarkable man and has been an inspiration to me when I was diagnosed. I defiantly couldn't wallow in self pity after watching everything he's gone through.

One more thing Santa.....I wish for a CURE! I'm extremely grateful for the wonderful doctors, nurses and hospitals that we have here in Dayton. I dream of the day when cancer doesn't dictate our future or anyone else's. I continue to hope for the day when I can tell my kids that they don't have to worry about us anymore and that everything is going to be OK.

We want to LIVE and continue to be inspired by LIFE!

Merry Christmas,
The O'Grady's
Rick & Rochelle

*****

To share your Letter to Santa, please email me at daniellecoots@yahoo.com.

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