Today we picked out our Christmas tree. It stands tall and beautiful and warms our home and our hearts. But today I am writing about love and forgiveness. I am writing about guilt. I am writing about not knowing where I fit in. A confession of sorts. The thoughts in my head asking to be freed. When my dad passed away my brother told me,"dad was devastated that he asked Daniel about Hanukkah and Daniel didn't know why we celebrate Hanukkah." He went on to say that my dad wept in front of him. My father was a child that survived the holocaust, he had lost relatives and he almost lost his life. I broke his heart when I married a Christian. He pleaded with me, "don't make me into Tevye," referring to the character in Fiddler on the roof. When Tevye's daughter falls in love with a Christian her father disowns her. He tells the rest of the family to consider her dead. When I was little we would pass by a synagogue, and I would ask my father why he never went in to pray. Dad would say that he could pray anywhere, he didn't believe that he had to go to a synagogue to pray. To him God was everywhere. I grew up with tradition and more as a spiritual person than a religious one. I adopted the same philosophy. After all those years my brother's words stung.My dad was the world to me. When he walked into the room I always felt safe. He would kiss my eyelids and he would call me his little girl,even though I was a grown up and had children of my own. My dad would come to my home during Christmas time and he would see my tree,lit up with ornaments. Ornaments that I collected through the years. Ornaments marking special days,baby's first Christmas,ornaments made in preschool, Duke University marking Josh's first year at school. I always linger with delight as I place them on the tree. The story my brother shared with me pinched my heart. This week we lit Hanukkah candles. When I lit them I thought of my dad. I broke his heart but we healed. He accepted me and didn't abandon me. I know that it was a difficult reality for him to accept but that's the power of love. The power of forgiveness.