18 months ago (ish) I was invited to my step-daughter’s party. It involved being with another step-daughter, who I hadn’t had contact with for six years. I said, please invite my husband, it’s so wonderful he has a relationship with you, invite him and your sister. But I can’t go. I can’t put myself through the hurt that might entail.

As time went on I realised I can’t break up a family this way. My hurt didn’t mean enough. So I accepted the invitation and spent an evening with a daughter I had had no contact with since a nasty break-up six years previously. I was afraid. I opened my heart. It was wonderful. I had long forgiven her, at least in my head. But this was the time I put other people’s needs ahead of my own. My hurt wasn’t big enough to break up a family.

I have enjoyed being with my step-daughter since then. I love her. I always did.

Tonight she told me she’s so glad we’re friends again, she’s so glad we reconciled and she hugged me. Such a long hug, with so many words unspoken. This is true reconciliation. It’s everything my overactive imagination ever dreamed of, and I didn’t need to initiate it. It just is.

This is love.

My name means love. In the Bible, God is Love, that’s my name. I can’t ever be happier than right now. This is love.