It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The tree is up and I loved that my little one had lots of fun this year putting the decorations on. By lifting her up, she put the angel on the top of the tree.

And I’m really looking forward to Christmas day with my loveable family: mum, siblings, their spouses and children. You can’t choose your family and like most families we’ve had our rough times, but I am so grateful for how non-judgemental they are. It’s tough if family don’t “get it” – however, I’m blessed.

Over the years my family has become more aware. Much to my surprise, when they read my blog, they were very supportive and caring.

They read it as I meant it to be read: a heartfelt account of my personal experience. I shared my blog via email and my sister Anne responded with respect and love:

Very well written; very emotional…both posts. I knew you were going through some really bad times and I’m sorry I wasn’t there more for you. Mostly because I was helpless to help… I hope writing this reinforces how strong you actually are and that your stories inspire people with similar issues.
Love, your sister.

My eyes pricked with tears while reading this. My siblings and I don’t do deep and meaningful and this meant more to me than gold.

For me, this is the season when you acknowledge those who are important in your life. Other family members have experienced tough times but are able to see I have my own experience. They do not judge who I am. For Anne to say I was “strong” humbled me. Isn’t that true empathy?

Anne didn’t say “Too bad, too sad, just get over it already”, she acknowledged I am doing my best. And that my best ‘ain’t bad.

So I’m feeling a lot like Christmas: accepted, welcomed and supported by my family. And really, that’s everything.