Most Valuable Family Member (M.V.F.) – My Uncle Joe

My aunt died recently. I thought we would have had time to reconnect after our distancing following my coming out but it wasn’t so.

Sometimes we think we have so much time to fix things and life runs out before we know it.

My aunt was always there for family gatherings and when I needed a poem to celebrate my parents she was was always able and willing. She and my uncle were inseparable, when you saw one you saw the other.

During my aunt’s repast my uncle pulled me aside and said “I want to apologize to you. I have said some things about you because I was shocked that you were with a woman. But, now that my wife died, I realized life is too short not to love who you love. Does she make you happy?” I replied yes. “So, that is all that matters to me. I want to come over to your house and do a fish fry for you and your wife to welcome her into the family. Ruby, I am sorry for the things I said”.

My uncle’s words were like coming into a well heated home on the coldest day in Chicago. It was water for my soul and love for my hurt. We talked and laughed until he needed to greet other guests.

Several days later he called and wanted to speak to my wife and he welcomed her into the family via the phone (we live in 2 different states).

His words backed up his actions and, for that, my heart smiled. I was thankful to God for that opportunity.

My uncle showed me exactly what it means to be family. The ability to apologize, extend support and give unconditional love.  That’s what family means to me.

My uncle Joe is one of many M.V.F. ( most valuable family) in my life and I honor him for his heart and jokes. Thank you Uncle Joe for reminding me that family shows up no matter the differences.

Sometimes we wait too long to let our loved ones know exactly what they mean to us. We can change that by celebrating our family members on the Family Defined website.

Do you have a member of your family (whether you share the same DNA or not) you would like to celebrate? Please leave a story of a person who embodies the true meaning of Family and celebrate them. The world can use some positivity and love, and you can make that happen.

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