This Friday is the anniversary of my last chemotherapy treatment. Hooray! Last year, about ten days after my last treatment, we took the children out to a fancy dinner at a local Chinese/Japanese restaurant. We dressed up in our nicest clothes and felt like we were actually a real family once again.
The previous week at preschool my daughter had taken part in a Chinese New Year's celebration. The children wore masks of pigs, rats and rabbits and walked around to each classroom exclaiming, "Gung Hay Fat Choy!" which translates to "Happy New Year" in Chinese. My red haired, blue eyed daughter had been so enthralled with this entire ritual that she had worn her pig mask and declared "Gung Hay Fat Choy" for the entire week. When we told her that we were going to be dining at a Chinese restaurant she was thrilled. "Mom, I am going to tell the man at the restaurant Gung Hay Fat Choy and I bet he will be so surprised." she said proudly. I supposed that he would. We walked into the restaurant and she boldly walked up to the maitre'd to deliver her message. "Gung Hay Fat Choy!" She beamed. A smile spread quickly across the man's face as he reached into his pocket and produced a dollar bill. "And Happy New Year to you." He replied.
She turned around and held up her dollar proudly as we all laughed. Upstairs while we enjoyed our sushi and dumplings I thought about how appropriate her words were at this time in our lives. The Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival, it is the oldest and most important of Chinese festivals. It is a celebration of the earth coming back to life. That is in fact what we were celebrating in a way too. I was coming back to life.
We now have a new tradition in our family that will begin our "New Year." My daughter is looking forward to more dollar bills in her pocket and we are all looking forward to a year of good health and renewed life.