Man maintains family’s traditions

December 22, 2012

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Robert Wood has resolved to keep the family Christmas traditions intact. With his wife, Sharon, weakened by cancer treatments – Robert made an extra effort to go “all out” with the Christmas decorations.

“Usually she does the inside, and I do the outside,” Robert said from the family home in Water’s Edge.

Barely able to speak, Sharon said she told her husband not to get out everything. “But he did it anyway,” she said proudly.

With 28 crates and 11 boxes of Christmas decorations stored in one place, another 18 stored upstairs and all the outside stuff stored in boxes in the attic, it’s a major undertaking just to get it all together.

Robert said he did a lot of the decorating while his wife was resting in bed.

“She was surprised when she saw everything,” Robert stated.

“I am blessed to have a husband who is so supportive,” Sharon said. “Not everyone does.”

Sharon’s cancer was first discovered in February when she went to the doctor with a persistent cough. A cancerous spot was detected on the epiglottis (flap) in her throat.

One surgery was followed by another, then another and another. Sharon has undergone eight surgeries and numerous treatments for the cancer over the past 10 months. She is now undergoing additional treatments for a spot on her liver.

Sharon has nothing but praise for her doctors in Granbury and in the Metroplex. “They have all been wonderful.”

At this point, Sharon has been fitted with a prosthetic device to get air in her trachea – allowing her to talk again.

“I’m still learning,” she said after one week with the device. “It takes awhile to get used to it. It wears you out.”

The spirit of Christmas spills out of every room in the retired couple’s home.

“We went with a cowboy theme on the tree this year,” Robert noted.

Shotgun shell lights, cowboy boots and even John Wayne can be found on the tree.

Western-style stockings hang from the fireplace mantel. A large train circles the tree.

Poinsettia rugs are placed in the kitchen. Family heirlooms are mixed with more recently purchased decorations.

A clear display box on the kitchen counter features a miniature Christmas tree and a nativity scene crafted in 1969 by an aunt who’s 97 now and lives in Detroit.

Lighted garland hangs over the opening to the dining room.

A collectible Spode Santa is on the table. A large free-standing Santa greets those entering the dining room.

“We take a picture with the grandkids by that Santa every year. And read the same Christmas book each year,” Robert said.

Sharon said she acquired the large Santa about 12 years ago.

“I kept seeing it in the store window every time I passed by. Finally, I went in and bought it,” she smiled.

Christmas quilts cover the beds, and various rooms have different themes. An upstairs bedroom is designated the Santa room and features about 35 Santas. The figures include cowboy Santas, dancing Santas and even an Elvis Santa.

In the game room, Santa is playing cards – and holds a hand full of aces. A solid wood hand-carved antique rocking horse is a special feature in the room.

“It’s really hard to get that big thing in and out of the attic,” Robert said with a grin.

It takes about a week to get all the Christmas decorations in place at the Wood home.

“I couldn’t believe he got it done by himself,” a grateful Sharon said.

“The support I have from him to take care of me, and support from our friends at Lakeside Baptist and our neighbors has been wonderful.

“There are prayer chains going for both of us. It’s so nice to have the support.

“Prayer takes care of everything.”

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