Christmas 1994 was dawning and as things looked, it would be the last one I would have whilst living in Sydney, before I moved back to Melbourne for the next few years.
You had asked me several times about my health during the year and I had brushed it off as simple tiredness, 1994 had been a hell of a year.
I had confided in you before resigning, about the sense of unworthiness and depression I was feeling about work. I should have been strong enough to brush off the Alan and Paul barbs but my strength was sapped and everything probably appeared to be much worse than it really was.
You were the only person who knew the depths of guilt and shame I carried about my sexuality, the nagging fear of the demons that had consumed both Chloe and Jerry, and; the sense of betrayal, futility and anger I felt about Steve.
You were certainly the only person I could confide in about the weakness and sense of unworthiness I felt at this time.
Your support was critical and as always; you did not disappoint me. We had discussed my financial situation, now that I was heading into a new venture and I had done my best to assure you that everything would be OK.
I was absolutely determined that whatever happened, you would not suffer financially. There was a selfish motive in this for me, I could not and would not risk an estrangement from the kids as had happened with Steve and his family.
Above all; you were my rock. The place I could always return to when world got too stormy. I was smart enough to know just how much I needed this haven.
The plan for Melbourne was that the kids would spend at least some of their holidays with me, and for me to be back in Sydney, at least two weekends a month.
I think we both instinctively wanted to make this Christmas special for the kids.
My bedroom at Rushcutters Bay was off limits to the kids in the days leading up to Christmas, we had stored new bikes etc there, after many furtive trips to your place in the last week.
We had Santa time before lunch. I think from memory Gram had left for Thailand very early that mornings so it was just us, a family united.
After lunch, as was our habit, we wandered through the park to the Yacht Club so we could watch the frantic preparations for the Sydney to Hobart Race, due to start on Boxing Day.
I think you and I got more pleasure from this than the kids, but they grudgingly granted us this indulgence.
Kayla was entering High School in 1995, we had enrolled her in the Anglican Private school close to your home. Neither of us, gave any thought to the cost of this over the next six years. It was right for Kayla and this was simply what parents do.
Our girls were growing up.
The shadow of my sexuality was gradually receding as a problem to be faced. Both Jassy and Annie had accepted it better than expected, Kayla was the last wall to be breached.
Jassy and Annie were close to each other in age, but the gap to Kayla was greater. She would have to be told, sooner rather than later, it was getting increasingly difficult, dealing with the different levels of knowledge between the kids. Apart from anything else, it was unfair to Kayla.
That was something for another day.
Christmas ‘94 was to be enjoyed and cherished, we had been separated over five years, but to my memory, there had never been any suggestion that Christmas was not something we should all share in together. Even in the years when you had gone to Canberra to have Christmas with your Mum and Dad, we had always been together as a family at some point close to the day.
Optimism, Love and Hope were all we had.
That is a hell of a lot more than many people have.