During this season of forgiveness and good will, family relationships come front and center. While I'm enjoying a thoroughly delightful weekend with my niece and her husband, I can't help occasionally thinking about one family member from whom we are estranged because of her toxicity, alcoholism, and abusive nature.
That I have removed myself from the abuse and can actually be sad for her is a testament to how much healing has occurred for me. My sadness is that she cannot experience loving family times, laughter, holiday traditions, and the special bonds that the rest of us share.
So my holidays this year also include empathy, and gratefulness for the rest of my family that I adore. I'm only sharing this because I know there are very, many other families out there with difficult members. We can love them, pray for them, but it is not essential to spend time with them if it is toxic.