This Christmas

Advent is the season of waiting. For our family, it has been in anticipation of Swenny’s return home. And last night, he did.

After what seemed like too many weeks away, he walked in after a very long day and called out, “I’m home.” This morning, I found his items returned to the medicine cabinet and his laundry in the basket. I awoke to the radio broadcast he plays while he gets ready, my coffee waiting for me on the bedside table, and a dog who has been out, fed and ready to seek warmth alongside whoever remains asleep.

Swenny is good to me. And he’s good for me. Because of him, I have taken claim to the perspective alcoholism has provided, and the joy to be found after enduring its challenges by celebrating every success, knowing that circumstances change…without expectation but with near certainty.

So this Christmas, among the gifts neatly wrapped under our tree there are others that cannot be seen. This year, Swenny and I give to each other honesty in acknowledging what we are facing, appreciation for what we have overcome, and wisdom in knowing that when the season of waiting is over, anticipation of further struggle will remain. And that’s okay because we also give one another the gift of believing…in us.

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