I remind myself of this fact every time my family disappoints me. That actually happens a lot - I'm quite different from most of my relatives, especially when it comes to political, social, religious or economic views. You know - life.
When you don't always see eye to eye with people, you don't always like them. That's true of family, friends, coworkers - anyone. But even when I don't like my family - I still love them. Especially those with whom I'm very close.
My Uncle has been part of my life since the day I was born. He's my God-Father, my Dad's closest friend and relative, and was even X's Best Man in our wedding. He's always been there for me.
Earlier this year, he was quite sick - like, in the hospital-for-several-months sick. More than once, we wondered not when, but if, he would come home. He did a complete 180 after being unconscious for almost 2 weeks; everyone was impressed with his turn-around and improvement.
We were just relieved.
I pride myself on knowing how to cherish my relationships, and how lucky I am to have them. But I don't think anyone realizes how much a person means until you come thisclose to losing him.
This year, when I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, I think it was the first time in my life when I fully understood what it means to be thankful for something. Of course, I've been grateful, and realized how lucky I am. I have good friends and family, a lot of laughter and smiles, and the "stuff" I really like. I know how it feels to hit rock-bottom, and come back stronger. So of course I've been thankful before.
But this year, it was different. I felt truly blessed to have my family together for the holiday. I realized for moment how empty the table almost felt - how different the day could have been. It felt like we really had a reason to celebrate.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Jack!