Sometimes it takes a rough time to understand how much people mean to you and how much you mean to them.
The weekend started out with me having to say goodbye to my wife and six-month-old son who were taking a long weekend trip to Florida to see family. Now, I knew that I would miss them, but it took only a few hours to realize that being away from my son of four days was much harder than I anticipated.
I expected to have those days by myself to be nice and relaxing. I would be able to go and do as I pleased, but there was something very lonely about coming home from work and not having anyone there to greet me.
So, I did what every strong single man would do in this situation. I went to my parents house. We had actually planned on spending a few days together, and with my house so quiet, I couldn't wait to get there.
I arrived in the Cleveland area and decided to stop off at a gas station for just a moment. Now, unlike the car guys I wrote about today, I know nothing about cars or how they do anything, but I do know that when I turn the key and nothing happens well, something is wrong. I tried again and again, bought a new battery and still nothing.
Well, this really turned my "bachelor" weekend on its ear since I was now concerned with how I was going to get this fixed and how I would get home. So, again, like any strong man, I called my big brother.
Without hesitation, he said he'd help me out and drove up to get me from the gas station. He then showed me that it was possible to start a manual car without actually starting it. I guess that is something most people know, but then again I know very little about very much.
My father and brother, once they found out about the car trouble, sprung to action. They both started making phone calls and running to auto parts stores to see what it was going to cost and what it would take to fix whatever was wrong.
Sitting back as they took pieces out of my car and stared thoughtfully at what I can only describe as a Rubix Cube of greasy metal, it dawned on me that they were not only doing this because they liked it, but because they wanted to help me.
For those of you who don't know me, which is most of you, I don't ask for help or accept it very often or very well. I have been a very independent person most of my life and with a stubborn head, that makes it very difficult for me to admit I can't do something and ask for assistance. But I didn't ask them for help, they just did it.
Far too often in life we move away from our families and loved ones and relationship begin to strain due to lack of time or whatever, and our lives start to pull away from one another. Then things as simple as this make you realize that you are really not alone in the world, that there are people who care about and love you because you are you.
I still can't begin to say how much I appreciated the help and the eagerness to do so that they exhibited. My dad even went as far as loaning me his car while mine was being fixed. His car, needless to say, is much nicer than my Accent, but I digress.
When it was all said and done, I went home with a real appreciation for my family, because they showed me so much.
The weekend finally ended when my wife and son came home and I got to pick my little man up and hold him again. It's funny how much you miss them.
I think sometimes in life, we are given small challenges to realize who and what we are and it became crystal clear to me over the weekend. I want to be as good a father, son, brother and husband as I can be, because my role models have shown me what it takes.