For Christmas I gave the key of Strength to my sister. There is no one in this world who could possibly deserve it more than her. She is 10 years my junior and we had been separated from one another for many years. Then one day I picked up the phone and she was on the other line. It was an amazing gift for someone who comes from a very small family that really isn't that close. During the past couple of years we had connected by phone and were even able to see each other during a holiday. But it wasn't until last February when we were able to truly call one another "sister" again. She was living in a very abusive relationship that came to a head one night with quite a bit of violence. In her fear and horror she picked up the phone to call me, nearly 600 miles away. My heart broke for her and sang with such delight to know that she could trust me. I asked her to come to my home and stay with me for a week so that I could help her work things out. Of course, this story would end perfectly here. With her visit and the end of the relationship, but there is so much more. She did end that relationship and pressed charges. However, it was in that week that I realized the true strength of this amazingly talented, beautiful and brilliant woman. Someone who is in an abusive relationship and allows it to continue often has a history of this in their life. My sister was no different. She had survived a childhood of torture and abuse at the hands of a very sick mother, all the time thinking that her father and her sister had abandoned her. In our minds and hearts we were driven away by the relationship we had with her mother. No child should live through the life she had and it breaks my heart to think of her that way. Of course, the journey from that home took her down some very dark roads. What I find to truly represent her strength is that she came through it all and on the other side she has turned her life into what she wants it to be, one filled with love and happiness. And there isn't anyone who deserves it more than her! She is the epitome of STRENGTH and I feel lucky to have her in my life!