December 18th, 09 – Jake 9
Christmas 2009

Dear Friends,
Please imagine you have an immense, love filled, fluffy, wise men and robin bedecked card arriving on time on your doorstep for christmas, that bursts into loud organ music as you prize it apart. Instead of this we have decided to send the money we would have spent on cards to the Royal Marsden. This is partly because the cards on sale there were all so awful, we thought this would be a better plan.

We’re happy to report that Jacob is feeling fine right now, that he has very recently been playing fine music with what must be some of the best young players in the country and has spent several nights staying independently in London with friends rather than having us watch over him.  This is such good new for us because we had all feared for his fledgling independence, his new friendships and the standard of his playing after a gap of five months.  We needen’t have feared, he seems to be playing better than ever and remains really popular amongst his Academy and musical friends.  Jake continues under a very strict and heavy chemotherapy regime, but the drugs at the moment do not affect him as severely as previous ones and most of the time in the last few weeks he has felt active and hopeful of  re-starting again at the Academy next year

You will know from previous letters the general detail of the last few months, but this is thank you all again for your moral, prayerful, practical and simply caring support shown in so many ways.  We couln’t do without it and the hope it brings and helps maintain.  The advice of doctors has always been to live each day as it comes and the music and music making has been very effective in doing just than and in the most rich and satisfying way.

We are even planning to go away for a few days to Cornwall before christmas, the first time we have ventured away since Jacob became ill. We are packing an immense sack of medication and a tiny one of other belongings, and leaving the christmas preparations to the last minute when we get back. A bit risky since we will be 23 on and off on christmas day.

News on the nativity plays this week showed Tess who refused to be Mary because the angels got better costumes with wings, Isaac who was a donkey with only one ear, Theo who was Joseph but needed a cuddle from Naomi in the middle and Charlie who was invited by Theo up to the stage to join in the pageant, and then lost control and removed the baby Jesus from the manger and ran off with him.

We wish you and yours the happiest of Christmasses – one in which present-tense consciouness, warm relationships and the experience of being fulfilled in the here and now, matter more than than memories and past mistakes or future plans and uncertainties. The experience of Christmas will be hopefully be the better for it.

Much love from all the Barnes family xxxxx

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