2019 – The Year of the Sock (or the Best of the Worst Christmas gifts?)

This year, the most requested Christmas gift items from my son and husband were socks. Crazy, colorful socks. And boy, did they make a sock haul this year! Here are 2 of their multiplicitous sock gifts.


I was even gifted 2 pair of crazy,
fancy metallic gold socks. (FANCY!)


This year, evidently in my family, this is the year of the Sock.

As I found and bought so many pair of socks in December,  I was reminded of a time in Elementary school, when I also was gifted a pair of socks.

When I was in 3rd(or maybe it was 4th)grade, we had a Christmas party for our class.  I remember drawing names, or at least it was “boy or girl” gift designated, with a money limit of $5.00, I think.  Of course, that was WAY back in the early 70’s, so $5 meant a pretty nice gift.  I DO remember, as a 3rd/4th grade girl, all I wanted was Lip Smackers Dr. Pepper or Candy Cane lip balm, and to really get me excited, a small bottle of Love’s Baby Soft, or Jean Nate’ would be the greatest thing ever.  Imagine the disappointment of receiving these at our class Christmas party:

sock blog 5

As I remember, the pair of socks I was given was darker green. Plain crew socks. Clean, but no tags or packaging, so it was assumed that they were ‘used’.  It took many years for me to realize how badly my fellow classmate must have felt, knowing I didn’t love or appreciate her gift.  I remember other students laughing at the socks and laughing at me for receiving the ‘old socks’.  I was too young and self-absorbed to think about how horrible my classmate must have felt in my reaction or that of our classmates.  I do remember she was one of the few students of color in that classroom who was bussed in to our school.  This was in Arkansas, at a time when we didn’t understand (or dare I say, TRY to understand) others who were of a different background, social status, and especially color. If this now grown woman is still out there, I hope you’ll accept my terribly delayed apology.  And not just for the poor reaction to your gift…Had I actually walked in your socks, I might have understood more, discovered more about our internal same-ness and not felt that the right thing to do was to focus on our external differences.

I was gifted with another pair of socks this past week, the “oh, so stylish grey grippy socks” given by my Cancer Hospital (MSKCC) in NY.  These are the great Unifying Socks.  The socks that no matter our genetic background, social strata, or beliefs, when we are given these socks, we are face-to-face with the medical trial immediately in front of us.

sock blog 6

The grey color reminds me that nothing in Cancer World is black and white.  There is no absolute right or wrong. There is not one cure, and I don’t believe there will ever be the magic ‘one cure/one treatment’. On the Cancer journey, there is no segregation, only a UNITY of treatments, trials, medicines, procedures, attitude and faith.

Likewise, in our relationships with others, there should be no distinct absolutes, no extreme divides. No black. No white. No rich. No poor. The color Grey is an injection of light into darkness. The middle shade of grey. Know that we will all face trials – and with at least 40% of us, those trials will include a cancer adventure.  I am blessed to have received these Not-So-Stylish socks in the hospital last week to have an amazing “fix” for my suddenly blocked bile ducts.  I am grateful for my husband, my family, my friends and prayer warriors who pray for me and send good thoughts daily.  I am also especially thankful for the fantastic doctors, researchers, nurses, care partners, environmental services hospital workers, and those who give out the “grey grippy socks”, the great equalizer socks, that keep us up and going, and steady on our feet as we navigate the physical journey ahead.

A not so Irish Blessing of the Socks: (by Susan O’Bradain)

“May your socks keep you warm.

May you not slip and fall.

May God keep you from harm

As you answer the call.

To face all your fears,

Stand firm like a rock.

Stay cozy and warm

In this ‘year of the sock”

With love and prayers for all YOUR journeys in 2019,


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