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Taken for granted

Wei Lin | Tuesday, December 3, 2013

After going back to New York City for the Thanksgiving break, I thought about what I am most thankful for. Over the span of five days, three groups of people showed me what I am most thankful for. Seeing their unfortunate circumstances allowed me to reconsider what was actually important in my life. It shouldn’t be the money, fame and respect I was so intent on achieving. Instead, I should be thankful I have a good and stable family, great friends and relatively normal health.
I met some family friends, Jennifer and Anthony, when they visited my home on Thanksgiving Day. What was strange about their visitation was they came alone, without either parent. What I learned about them was their parents had divorced years ago and Thanksgiving was not something they celebrated together. To think Thanksgiving did not mean a single thing to their parents shocked me. Seeing them spend their holidays without their parents made me realize how lucky I am to have parents who love each other and their children so much.
Friday night, I accompanied my former co-worker, Jeremy, to the hospital because his grandmother had fallen ill. Jeremy felt lonely waiting in the hospital by himself and wanted someone to talk to so he called me to come over. Odd thing is, I never expected to be asked since Jeremy and I never casually hung out with each other. I asked him why he asked me to come instead of someone else. He replied by saying he didn’t have any friends who would have been willing to come and he knew I was the only who would have agreed to sit with him in the hospital. This trip to the hospital showed me how lucky I am to have friends who I trust to be there for me when I need them to be. It made me happy to know I made the right choice in having a couple of really close friends instead of innumerable acquaintances.
The last couple of people I met with were my cousin, his wife and his daughter. His daughter is so sweet and cute she’ll make your hearts melt. She is still so young the signs of her Down syndrome are not as prominent. My cousin was distraught when he first found out his only daughter had Down syndrome, but he is handling it very well and loves his daughter unconditionally. He offered my family a few words of wisdom. My cousin said while he will have to face many obstacles in the future, my parents were blessed to just have healthy children and good health trumps over all.
I learned a lot this Thanksgiving, and I am truly grateful for all I have that I may have overlooked in the past. The simplest thing we take for granted may be someone else’s one and only wish.

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    The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.