Today was Kling Family Christmas.
Kling is my mother in-law’s maiden name.
Helen’s 9 children, their spouses, and their children, and their children’s children. With a few friends, too. And one beloved dog. It’s a lively and loving bunch.
Everyone at the party knows about my experience with depression and anxiety. Many of them read this blog. All of them are unconditionally supportive.
And today all of that love and support was cystalized in the most heart-warming conversation with Uncle Jimmy.
Uncle Jimmy is my mother in-law’s, brother in-law. While it may be an over used adjective during this time of the year, Uncle Jimmy is the purest definition of jolly.
Now matter what he’s facing (recovering from surgery, missing those he holds most dear, moving homes, changing jobs) in the 11 years Uncle Jimmy has been a part of my life, he has always (always) greeted me with sincere smiles and open arms.
Every. Single. Time.
When I worked in television, Uncle Jimmy was always the first to let me know when he caught one of my performances. Regardless if I’d flubbed a line, or had a bad hair day, he always had glowing reviews. And, today was no different.
Except, today the praise was for starting (and continuing) this blog. For finding the courage to share and for sharing so eloquently.
“If you’re writing it,” he said, “I’m reading it.”
And on instinct, I replied, “Well, as long as you’re reading, I’m going to keep writing.”
It is truly miraculous how finding the gumption to dig deep inside yourself can help enrich those connections that keep you rooted in what really matters most…each other.
It occurred to me on the ride home that Uncle Jimmy shares a nickname with the great American actor who, even after his passing in 1997, continues to personify the Spirit of Christmas for so many.
Every year since 1946, Jimmy Stewart has been reminding us that It’s a Wonderful Life.
And, for more than a decade now, my Uncle Jimmy has been reminding me of the very same thing.