The Day the War Stopped

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On Christmas Day, 1914, World War I came to a halt. German soldiers placed candles on trees and sang Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht. British troops responded by singing English carols.

The unofficial truce fulfilled the wishes of Pope Benedict XV, "that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang."

It felt like a cease-fire at our house Christmas Day. It's not what I expected. Two days earlier Kaitlyn fell while hiking and broke her collarbone. An "8-week-recovery" break.

I felt overwhelmed for her pain, her setback, and the financial implications.

Christmas Eve I silently cried myself to sleep. Kaitlyn's injury brought other grief to the surface.

My first Christmas without my mom, remaining physical challenges, an uncertain financial future.

I awoke with a renewed sense of peace. Maybe it was the excitement of the kids. The fortitude of my husband. Or the sound of The Muppet Christmas Carol playing in the living room.

Our breakfast was simple. We took no chances and didn't stray too far from our diet. We did add eggs. Something we haven't had for 5 months. I made pancakes with coconut flour and flax.

We juiced mango and pineapple for a treat.

We spent 3 hours opening gifts. And the cease-fire began. Nothing but laughter and singing. Excitement as the kids gave gifts to each other.

And not a thought about health or symptoms. Heavy exposure to toxic mold results in an internal war. The evil mycotoxins absorb into the body, circulate through the bloodstream, and affect our body systematically. Recovery, especially for those of us with the 4353 genotype, means a long, hard battle. A battle requiring constant strategizing and vigilance.

We didn't talk about the war once.

Better yet, we made it all the way to dinner without one fight! Even then it was only a minor skirmish.

"This is our best Christmas ever!" I heard time and time again. It's the good that comes from loss. Expectations diminish.

Tomorrow the battle will resume. Our informal armistice will be over.

But I'll always treasure Christmas Day 2009. I'm just sure I heard angels singing.