One thing that recovering from surgery does is give you time to think, because there are hours at a time when you can't do much else.
Let me share some of my thoughts with you. Don't worry, not ALL my thoughts....you don't want that and trust me, neither do I.
It was late one night ( I think) in the hospital, that it occurred to me how fortunate I am to have developed friendships with those of the Mediterranean persuasion. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to get to know some of the wonderful Lebanese families in the Wichita area. Their sense of family and shared community is amazing to me....probably because I am about as boring, whitebread anglo Kansas boy as there is.
Or take my wife, please. Her ancestry comes from the Russian Mennonites who settled the fields of Kansas hundreds of years ago, bringing with them the hard, red winter wheat for which our state is now famous.
Those hard-working people have a family culture that many of us might envy. I can't count the times I've sat with her at family gatherings and had to ask who people were. She will say, "Oh, that's Uncle so-and-so and his wife Aunt so-and-so." That's amazing for someone like me who has a hard time keeping my own offspring straight, and I have only one son and one daughter,(far as I know).
Oh,I HAVE my own aunts and uncles, and therefore cousins...just not sure who or where they are. I wouldn't recognize any of them if they snuck in my house and sewed my head to the carpet.
I've learned through bitter experience that when my lovely wife discusses organizing or attending a family reunion, the proper comment from me is not..."Why would you do that?"
Her answer,long or short, is usually some form of "You just don't understand." And she's right.
That deep family cultural history/emotional link is something I didn't get.
And I think I am worse off for it.