Today, I am thankful for family. This is important because I don’t think I feel nearly as grateful for family as I should. There are times when having a break from my family is necessary for my sanity and, altogether, having young children, I don’t feel that I have enough solitude. But, as I have mentioned before (kidcation; solitude), one of the reasons I enjoy the moments of solitude I do get from time to time is because they help me appreciate my family more.
Alright, maybe one of the reasons I like having family is selfishly motivated. It’s nice, after a difficult day at work, to be able to come home and have someone to hear my gripes. And, no matter what mistakes I make — even after one of my cataclysmic screw-ups — I’m still loved.
Joe: But Allison loves you?
Quince: [nods, sobbing]
Joe: How do you know?
Quince: Because she knows the worst thing about me… and it’s okay.
— Meet Joe Black (1998)
I also feel that good moments are made more memorable when there is someone with whom to share them. Not only the fun and special moments, but even the simple moments when I do something which has value to me, but which would be too insignificant to bother mentioning to someone else. In turn, I have the chance to be a witness to my family’s lives too: their dreams and hopes; their falls and the things they overcome. And not just a witness; a participant.
We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”
— Susan Sarandon, Shall We Dance (2004)
When my life ends, I will have had the privilege of having spent my life with not just any people, but these specific people: my “peeps,” my gang. That makes me feel fortunate.