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Family, Frustration and Fun

The holidays are a time for giving thanks, giving to others and spending time with those who are most important to you while trying not to kill them ;)

One of the common things heard about the holidays is crazy family members and unbearable gatherings. While some of these certainly exist, today I was reminded through a memory of how grateful I am to be able to see my family during the holidays.

While living in Kuala Lumpur, there was a convenience store located in my building where I could run for a carton of milk, a bag of chips, a beer or many other odds and ends. There was of course a "convenience" fee since it was in the building but it was worth it when needing something last minute and not wanting to venture out to the store. The guy who worked in the store most often, whose name I have forgotten, was Bangladeshi. He had moved to KL in hopes of earning a modest wage so he might send remittances to his family. Despite being in his early twenties, he hadn't been home to see his family in years and had no idea when he might see them again since traveling isn't cheap.

Remembering him and his story this morning caused me to take stock in the things I have come to expect but need to be more grateful to have. My in-laws have traveled to St. Louis my whole life and it is important to remember as I spend time with them some people do not have the means or time off from work allowing them to travel.

One might have trying moments with in-laws but for many of us, we should be grateful to have them at all.


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