Today is my mom’s birthday, and I was fortunate enough to get to spend a little time with her yesterday (and to do some laundry). I don’t write about my family much because we don’t spend a lot of time together. It’s not that we’re estranged or anything. I guess it just seems that sometimes we don’t have a lot in common. Nevertheless, I do like them a lot and am very thankful for them.
It’s been a common in-joke in my family that I’ve often been regarded as the prodigal son due to all of my wandering ways, and due to the fact that I walked away from Christianity. My parents and three sisters are still very involved in their churches, but my brother seems to live more like an agnostic. Although Brian and I got fairly close while we ran a youth program together after I got out of college, that connection was pretty much obliterated when I left the Church to do my thing and he started worshipping at the altar of professional sports. At least as long as people keep making movies, we’ll always have something to talk about. But as the old axiom states, it is wise that we steer clear of religion, politics, and sports.
We still get along pretty well, and see each other from time to time when one of us thinks to contact the other. My parents, Brian, and his lovely wife Jennifer took me to lunch at the Breakfast House, one of my favorite restaurants in Sarasota, for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, loading me up with gift cards and the Key West omelette stuffed with lobster and shrimp. Brian and Jen got married about two years ago, and she has completely changed his life for the better. I’m actually a bit jealous.
Nevertheless, I feel extremely fortunate that I get some really unconditional love from my family. You may not have noticed, but I can be a real horse’s ass sometimes. Yet my family is always there to help me move from place to place, rebuild whatever bridge I’ve burned, and if not to necessarily encourage me in my windmill chasing, they at least don’t discourage me, and acknowledge that I’m just following the tao of Steve. I think one of the best things is that they don’t worry about me anymore, probably a good show of their faith in a Supreme Being, and the tattered angels that have been riding on my shoulders these last several years.
I don’t let any of them know often enough how grateful I am for them, but I often forget to do that with a lot of people. Maybe it’s a symptom of the ADD. Maybe I’m just a selfish jerk. Either way, I really am a lucky guy and try not to take my good fortune for granted. I thank the heavens that I got the family that I got, and although I don’t see them often, especially my three sisters up north, I do really appreciate them.