I shouldn't wait so long to catch up, I tell ya.
Seems like you hit a mild snafu coming into Christmas but you recovered like the Goddess you are.
I'm glad that has been, seemingly, very cut and dry clarity between you and Leo and his relationship with his wife. It seems that you are in a good place with it.
As far as your suicidal friend, as mentioned before, it's really a case-by-case analysis. We don't know her or the circumstances that drove her to the attempt so you would have the best insight about how to approach her in an attempt to offer support. It is really a catch 22. In my experience, you consider suicide because you don't want to be a burden to others and/or hurt them. On the other hand, you hesitate in committing suicide for the same reasons. So, you can say it can be viewed as selfish and selfless all at the same time. The most important aspect of it all is this, though... only the suicidal person knows what is affecting them; the suicidal person is the one who has to live that life and endure those challenges so no amount of 'forced consideration' is going to relieve them of that. That is something that more people on the outside looking in should consider as they ask a suicidal person to stay or consider everyone else around them. I mean, at that point in that person's life, there is something of substance missing in those relationships. We have to help them find that substance in whatever way best works for that individual. I've had three suicide attempts and my mother would always comment on how I should consider how she would feel if someone called her to tell her I had killed myself. Coming across to a suicidal person, I viewed that as selfishness which, really, made my desire to die even stronger because it would alleviate that emotional burden permanently and she'd never again have to sit up and worry about me and my well-being. So, as I said, it just really is a unique situation for each individual and, really knowing that person, helps point you in better direction regarding recovery. I have had several close people in my life commit suicide and no matter what I attempted to do I always felt helpless. Ultimately, I wish your friend all the best.
Your statement about kids being a little slice of heaven and hell is so accurate. I persevere everyday for my children, even though, my now 17 year old son is pushing me closer and closer to the edge quarterly. Alas, I couldn't see myself without their spirits in my life in the same capacity. My daughter is a preteen and is raised between myself and her dad's family so we're preparing ourselves. I've discovered so many amazing things about myself throughout the 18 years of motherhood with my own children and children of my partners and/or family members whom I have raised at various intervals. It also allowed me to live vicariously through their childhood since mine was a bit mature and traumatic. Now that my kids are older kids, I find myself desiring that connection with younger children, so much so, that I am currently seeking volunteer opportunities with children (hospital, orphan, or shelter).
I am glad that you have been surrounded by love, RP, and have been able to open express yourselves to those inside and outside of your circle.
May the new year bring you much more happiness, growth, and love. *hugs*