I’m starting out pretty heavy, I know, but with the day I’ve had today, I want to get some thoughts out. It won’t make much sense, but here I go.
My grand-uncle (my mom’s uncle) passed away this morning. Right after that, my nephew from anotha motha was born. A momentous death, and a momentous birth, all within a couple of hours of each other.
My Tio Juan was an amazing inspiration. He stowed away as a youth into a merchant marine ship and from there worked hard all his life, traveling the world, living big. He was always warm and loving and open. He had a huge garden, and somehow managed to grow bananas in Jacksonville, Florida. That’s probably how I’ll remember him. Showing me everything he was growing in his garden, and how carefully he tended to it. Or taking a shot of scotch in front of a “Halleluia” – his name for the overly-religious crowd – who was preaching damnation in his house.
Then there’s little Julian. Born today with a whole world as his oyster. We have no idea what he’ll do, where he’ll go or how he’ll get there, but I can’t wait to be a part of it. There is so much promise and potential there for a life well lived. I hope his life is filled with adventure, love, good friends and good family, just like Tio Juan’s life was.
Through all these sad and happy tears, I’ve realized I’ve become terribly isolated from family. There are many reasons for this, but there are even more reasons for me to repair this distance. At the end of the day, we are all linked by those that we love who love us. Whether I have an awesome house or not doesn’t really matters. What matters is that people feel at home in my home (provided that I like them, but that discussion will be for another time).
So this is my challenge now: to get closer to my family (blood related and chosen). In honor of Tio Juan, the truest family man I’ve ever known, and in good hopes for Julian, who deserves all the love and good vibes that I can create in this world.