© 2010 Marica

Change of plans

Work is love made visible.
Khalil Gibran

“I’ve got chicken pox!!!!!” announced my 15 year old nephew, Stefan, on his Facebook status.

As I read these words I knew our Christmas plans had just changed. In our household plans changing is normal. Sometimes we have a Plan B up our sleeve and other times we don’t. Even after all these years of knowing and experiencing this reality it still takes me a moment to process what has happened, what it means and what I am going to do about it.

My first instinct after reading Stefan’s words were to contact my sister and assess the situation. I needed to gather facts to help me make a decision.

My 27 year old son Damian lives with a rare chromosome disorder which means he lives with an impaired immune system. Even though he had all the normal immunisations and illnesses like chicken pox as a child his immunity to all these diseases was wiped as the result of undergoing treatment (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) for leukaemia when he was 10 years old. In normal circumstances once a child completes their treatment they undergo a re-immunisation programme but this was not possible for Damian. As a result he is immunocompromised all the time and diseases like chicken pox and measles have the potential of making Damian incredibly sick should he contract them. As you can imagine we have become super vigilant in trying to keep Damian away from any known infection possibilities. Taking risks with Damian’s health is not an option.

So today instead of driving to Auckland (an eight hour drive north of where we live) to join the rest of my family that were gathering at my sister’s home to celebrate Christmas together, we stayed put. Instead of sitting in a car as a passenger or taking my turn at driving I spent the day in the kitchen getting ready for our own Christmas celebration.

It felt good to be in the kitchen. I spent the whole day creating – my daughter Mira’s favourite bean salad, a homemade herbed soft white cheese, preparing a multi-layered jelly, ginger crunch, shortbread, meringues and a white chocolate rocky road were amongst some of the items I produced. As I was putting trays in the oven and seeing the products coming out I was reminded of the days when I baked all the time. The memories came flooding back when I had time to be in the kitchen and create all sorts of wonders that delighted others. These days cooking is a chore I want to get over and done with as quickly as possible because I never have the time to think about what I’m going to cook let alone actually making it.

Today was different. I didn’t have to go to my day job. Instead I worked in my kitchen to create treats for the people I loved. It felt much more satisfying than anything I normally do during my working week. As I worked I thought about all the people in my life and what they mean to me. Everything I did today was infused with a bit of me and it felt incredibly good.

How satisfying it must be to work every day producing something that manifests your love made visible.

11. Every day do something for someone else.
47. Every day you are responsible.
48. Every day there are things you can’t change. You can change the way you think about them and deal with them.