I think we all have a favorite uncle or aunt that spoils us, keeps our secrets or just really clicks with us. That cool buddy, that even though you love your whole family, has a special niche in your heart that not even time can change. For me is my beloved Uncle Nelson. He is only 8 years older than me so he is more like a big brother than an uncle. I can’t help but to smile everytime I remember something from my childhood that involves him.
By the time I was a teenager, he left for Miami. I was heartbroken but never let him know because I knew it was for the better. He has made a great career, family, always kept learning new things and had so many experiences and adventures. He has been a great role model and I have always been so proud of him.
Because my Abuela (Grandma) has been very sick; he came back to Puerto Rico for a few days to get her settled from the hospital. I visited them on Saturday and was touched to my core on how sweet, tender and attentive this man was with his mother. We were talking just about everything, but he was always checking up on her every need.
It is very hard when your loved ones get sick. My Abuela has been a strong willed, hard worker, very independent woman (and quite scary when she would get mad) until a few years ago when she started getting sick. Now she needs a lot of care and help. It makes me think a lot of the future and my own fragility. But watching my uncle take care of Abuela made me think of something else…love and compassion.
In our busy lives, with all the problems and difficult situations around us, it can be easy to lose that sense of love and compassion towards others. Never ending work schedules, children to raise, bills to pay…we could get too busy to even think about it. But, when you see it…BAM!… it hits you. Of all of my uncle’s accomplishments (and there are so many professionally and personally) his love towards his mother is the one that makes me the most proud and I pray I can emulate. I am so thankful to have him in my life as an uncle and as a great role model. Gracias Tio Nelson.