What would I do? Who would I be? Where would I turn to? Which way would I go?
I ask myself all of these questions, and still, I wonder. I wonder what would happen to me, if I didn’t have family. I wonder how I would be able to handle life’s obstacles, dilemmas or the never ending array of road blocks that seem to jump in or crop up. How would I ever handle the adversity, or the fear of not knowing without my family there to guide and support? How, oh how would I ever manage to think things through or think about thinking things through?
Fact is, I do have an amazingly wonderful family, and as I grow into an older and grayer billy goat, it becomes more and more evident every day just how incredibly lucky I am. It becomes more and more evident just how grateful I feel. It becomes more and more evident that I need them now, more than ever, because you see, as I have written before, they are there for a reason, and I am blessed for it.
I know that there are a ton of folks out there who don’t have the luxury of family. I know that there are many, many people who have never really known what it is like to be loved and cherished. I know more and more every day just how incredibly fortunate I am, not only because I do have an amazing family, but that the give and take goes both ways. I’m not sure how much support or comfort I have passed on to my family in the past, but to be able to feel the sincere emotions between one and another is quite irreplaceable. It’s just not something that you can go out and buy at the local grocers, or department store, or online. It’s just not something that anyone should ever take for granted, because, well, because it is a gift that not everyone has the privilege of having.
I did go through a time, back in my twenty and thirties when I seemed to become selfish. I seemed to place my family on the back burner, and lived my life for me, and basically, no one else but me. I became complacent and arrogant and self absorbed in my own self worth, and to tell you the truth, I am ashamed of it. I am ashamed of thinking about me, and me alone. Oh sure, I was a husband and a father, and I was still a brother and son and uncle and cousin, but I was more interested in me, and me alone. It was all about me, and completely encircled me, with no one else in sight. Those were some dark times in my life, and even though at the time, as they seemed to be wonderfully wonderful, they held nothing that had any substance, and were quickly forgotten. I wish I could have those days, months and years back, but I am more grateful for having learned their lessons, those same lessons that grabbed hold of me and said, “Hey you! Look around you! Grab a clue, ok?” Still, it took a couple of intense life happenings to fully propel me into a complete state of awareness, as I was thrown into the next chapter of my life. It took a tornado of peril and anxious trauma to finally wake me up to all of the wonderful family that had been out there, all along, waiting for me.
Waiting for me? Had they really been waiting for me? Why would they? I mean, it wasn’t like I had been waiting for them, right? It wasn’t like I was hunting out and gathering up all of the love that is my family.
Such a selfish time in my life. Such a self absorbed, ego filled, mind numbing trip through a decade or two of a full throttled, no holes barred, attitude of, you guessed it, me, me, me.
One thing is true today, I hold tight to the grateful faith and amazing hope that I receive from my family. I cling tight to their love and support. I gather in their wonderful blanket of warm, cozy calmness and if ever there was a time when I was truly thankful, it is now.
I keep hearing that I am a form of inspiration. I keep hearing how much I am loved from family. I hear it sometimes from friends also, and believe me when I tell you that next to family, a pocket full of friends is the next best medicine to have.
The truth is, the inspiration comes from you all. It starts with you, and ends with me. It wraps around the room and settles down around me like a king sized comforter on a long, cold winter’s night. It caresses my tired soul and lays a gentle hand upon the spirit of the little boy that hides in the shadows of my past.
I am grateful for my family, and yes, my friends, but this post settles in around the amazing love and affection that one can only get from, you guessed it, family. . Without your influence in my life right now, I dare not think where I would be. You all are such a wonderful gift, and I hope that in some way, I may be able to give back to you as much as you all have given.
As you can plainly see, I run out of ways to show my appreciation. I tend to run in and out of the same catch phrases and metaphors, but that doesn’t limit the countless ways that my heart is continuously filled up with all of the passion that is family. I may run out of ways to tell you, but I will never run out of love for you.
You are my family. You all are the reason that I am who I am. You all are the one true thing that ever reminds me of just how lucky and blessed I am.
Can you tell? Can you see the smile that’s on my face right now? It’s all your fault.