I think it’s best to combine weeks three and four of the year-long gratitude challenge. Yes, I am already behind. But that’s not the only reason. Promise! Anyway, my family is important to me. Sometimes I forget just how important. We live far away, we rarely talk, etc. Henry’s birthday gave me the chance to see and talk to lots of family, though, including my Aunt Nydia. Nydia is my mom’s eldest sister.  She helped to raise all of us.  I’m especially grateful for her because she talked me into applying to college.  She took me to visit Huntingdon during the Thanksgiving break of my senior year in high school.  I fell in love with the campus, as she knew I would, and the rest is history.  Everything I hold dearest, just about everything that defines me–my husband, my closest friends, my education and career–I really owe to her.  She’s kind and thoughtful and wonderful, and I love her.  She’s been a wonderful example for me throughout my life–as a woman who pursued higher education despite adversity, among other things–and I am better for having her in my life.  My whole family is.

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