Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Every family has their traditions and when you have children, you either pass them on or create your own. We have done both. When I was growing up, my dad painted a holiday scene on our windows each Christmas season. I remember watching him do it and waiting patiently for the finished product. Though he was a much more talented artist than I am, I have carried on this tradition in my own way. It is something he passed down to me and I am now passing it on to my girls. They are excited every year when they see the paint come out and know that our windows signify the beginning of the holiday season for us.

For the last several years we have hosted a holiday open house for my extended family the week before Christmas. We started this tradition out of necessity. It was becoming impossible for everyone to get together once they had their own families, step-families and in-laws. It has since become something that Larry and I look forward to and the girls look forward to. They start asking about the date of the Open House right after Halloween. Traditions are important to them and even things that we didn't know were traditions, they have decided are.

Tomorrow I go to see the Hereditary Genetics Counselor at Swedish. I will be tested for the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 gene-the only two genes known to predict a higher risk for breast cancer and I will ask that Larry be tested as well. I don't have other people with breast cancer in my family, but I do have other types of cancer that may or may not be related. Larry has breast cancer in his family as well as other types of cancer. Though I will be very surprised if I do carry the gene, I want to know one way or another where both of us stand. I'd like to make sure that I am passing on an appreciation for painted windows and not an increased risk.

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