As I survey the course of my life I find that I've seemed to somehow steer clear of some of the major designations or roles that denote the basic functions of our human species. Things like husband, or father, this last one precluding ever being called a grandfather.
Anyone, simply by virtue of being born at all becomes a son or a daughter -- so that's a free-be. A given. It just arrives all on its own. But with those other things, you have to be a bit more creative.
You have to actually do stuff.
I am a brother to four dear people. So that is not to be discounted. But again, it's the result of someone else's initiative, that of my parents. And these siblings of mine have produced their own offspring, 13 of them! So, of all things, I am most, an uncle.
It was real neat, on my recent vacation, to overhear a time or two, myself referred to as "uncle" by the girlfriends of my nephews. And once or twice by the husband of my niece.
I found it cute. I liked it.
So, my conclusion is that I should focus on being a good one.
Now as I begin my second half-century of life, it's looking like I am not going to be a husband or father. I need to appreciate the fact that my brother, sisters, nephews and nieces, think I'm OK. It feels good to be so accepted and loved, at those levels. Especially since now that both of my parents are gone, that first designation -- son -- cannot be spoken aloud by the dearest people I have ever known.
Be a good brother.
Be a good uncle. One worthy of that coffee mug in the above image.