The family who isn’t

I really haven’t felt like writing in awhile, until today when I found out that our uncle passed away. He wasn’t related to us in any way, but he was one of those people who deserved the respect that you would have for a family member.

When you are related to someone, there is this underlying obligation to them simply because they are family. Simply because you share ancestors with this person, no matter what kind of person they are or how they treat you, you are by default linked to them through familial obligation. Not to say that all family dynamics are based on familial obligation- sometimes it is genuine love and care, but sometimes it is familial obligation. I know it’s terrible to say, but it’s the honest truth at least from what I’ve observed.

This is in contrast to the ‘family’ who aren’t actually related to you. These people have absolutely no obligation to you whatsoever– and yet they embody all the characteristics and behaviours of what you would only expect from an esteemed family member. And to me, this makes them even more inspiring.

Like here are these people who really never needed to contribute to your life in any shape or form, but they did- and in a significant way. If it wasn’t for this uncle, my dad might still be trying his luck running a bakery or driving a taxi. But because he believed that my dad was capable, without having any qualifications or prior experience- he got my dad to manage the hotel that he was a shareholder of, and later a tertiary institute (where my dad still works to this day). Of course, I know that my dad is smart and capable- but a person that he barely worked with and had a lot on the line? He was REALLY taking a chance on him. He gave him an opportunity that nobody else ever would.

And as a result, my parents were always around. My parents had their fair share of struggles- but at least they didn’t have to struggle with trying to manage their own business (be that a bakery, takeaway or whatever). So my parents had the time to invest in us, to be present with us and to guide us- to get us to where we are today.

So in that respect, I’m really grateful for this uncle. He was someone who cared, and never needed to. Someone whose kind actions had a domino effect and benefited us all for years to come. I don’t know if he was really aware of the impact of his actions, but my gratitude for the fact that we got to have someone like him in our lives will inspire me and stay with me forever.


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