We decided this would be our last natural Christmas tree. It was too much effort, year after year, picking one out, transporting it home, pruning and then dismantling it after the holidays.
After the usual routine of straightening the tree in its holder and both of us decorating it, I snapped a few photos to capture the glow of the coloured lights on the ornaments.
I had an unexplainable, sinking feeling that next Christmas would be different, a feeling that this Christmas was special, but also some deep-seated sadness.
In early January 2012, with holiday decorations still adorning the house, my husband began experiencing extreme back pain. It puzzled doctors who kept sending him home from hospital, but I knew that the accompanying swollen lymph nodes wasn’t a good sign.
After much persistence, he was admitted and testing began that led to a diagnosis of lymphoma.
At the hospital one day, while he was undergoing one of the many procedures required to determine his specific type of lymphoma, I picked…