Yesterday. as the kids tore into their presents and the adults eagerly awaited their turn, I looked around and noticed the smiles that abounded. I could not help being amazed at how many of us were there. From cousins, to in-laws, to cousin in-laws, it was a maelstrom of personal relationships. Between the torn gift wraps, and the squeals of the youngest ones, I saw truly how lucky I am to be in the family I have. We truly enjoy each others company. Each and everyone one us can spend hours with each other and not think anything of it. We often joke that to outsiders it much look a bit surreal how much we enjoy each other presences. It wasn’t always like that. We went through our trials, our fights, arguments, disagreements (we still do), but I think it was the recognition that we love each other.
We also were not always together. Due to various constraints, we lived in different countries for several years, until finally we all came together in 1984. More than anything, that distance made us yearn to be together, and when we did, instead of dissipating, it grew stronger. After my sisters and I reunited with our parents, we managed to get others to come as well from cousins to parents siblings. We grew from the five of us to husbands, wives, cousins, in-laws, and the more that came, the more our hearts swelled. It struck me that we were quite lucky, and for that I am thankful. Then I got a beautiful wife with a generous heart and soul, and one who transitioned into our family seamlessly.
Then take, for instance, my sister Sumita. She often tells others she is my second mom (for good reason, she is), and is the person the family relies on to solve problems. Not only is she the CEO of the business, I would contend she is the CEO of the family. Most often, both are intertwined. Her generosity and love for us has allowed us to traverse some very rough waters. Although love follows us everywhere, we are also very good friends with disease. Each time we prevail, I marvel at the strength my family shows, and also at the love that keeps us going. In my long-winded way, I am just thankful that I have so much besides. There are times I don’t feel like I deserve it, but I do hope to pass it on. It’s the least I can do.