Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 23

The Gift of Family

10269412_10205205799738411_7561109721362299887_nFamily is one of the most important components to anyone’s lifespan. I know this because I not only teach that class, but I buy into it 100%. Without family, whether it’s blood relatives or otherwise, what are we? Family helps make us who we are. So, today I say THANK YOU to my family.

It doesn’t matter who you call family either. As I said, it doesn’t matter whether it’s blood relatives or close friends. Our lives are a web that spreads out over time and space. Part of that web includes those who touch our lives and those lives that we touch. That include, but isn’t limited to family.

167198_1671273595539_1096396_nI have spoken about my Uncle Bob, but I’m going to now. He was very outspoken and if you needed someone to go to bat for you, all you had to do was pick up the phone.

There are two memories that stick out in my mind when I think of him. The first is that he saved me. He loved to fish. We arrived at someone’s house and they had a pond. My dad headed down to the pond and my uncle did, too. Or at least that’s what I thought.

I was set up in a room with a television so I could play and watched TV while they spend the morning fishing. A man came into the room. Even though I was a child, I knew he wasn’t of good character. I went to the couch and sat down. He sat beside me. I was afraid. He told me how pretty I was. He was undoubtedly a pedophile. Before he could start down the dark path, my uncle happened to walk in.

I remember his reaction as if it were yesterday. He walked over to me, grabbed me up, and looked at the man. He told him he would kill him. He told me that I was coming to the pond with him and to clean my toys up. While I did so, he was in the man’s face, but I don’t know what he said. If my uncle would not have walked in right at that moment, my life would have turned out much differently.

The second memory I have is that he embarrassed me to death when I was 12. After fishing one day with my uncle, my cousin, and my dad, we made our way back home, but on the way there, we arrived on “the strip.” If any of you remember “cruising,” it was alive and well when I was 12. In my town is was Chillicothe Street.

As we turned onto the street, I hid in the floorboard. They played “The Chicken Song” as loud as the speakers would go. I was so petrified. But, it was that sort of thing that made time with them fun. You never knew what they would do.

Holidays were always fun. Life was fun. I used to go to his house and ride his “boy toys.” He also took me to a ceramics class while my mother recovered from a car accident. When I was sick in middle school and high school, he made sure that he ordered food from the pizza shop and brought it to me. Or he picked up food from Hickie’s, a local mom-and-pop restaurant.

My family has shaped me into who I am. There have plenty of negative things that have happened in my life to transform me, but the foundation was put down long before my adult life. If it weren’t for them, I have no idea who I would be today.

 

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