November 18 – cheers mate!

117/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I think we all have a couple of uncles and aunts who are only a few years older than ourselves instead of the couple of decades that is usually the norm. They like to think they are the cool, hip ones hanging with their nieces and nephews – of course, I have never done that as an uncle myself 😉 One of my uncles who fits in this category (about a decade older than me) is my mom’s cousin (who is my uncle by cultural definition) Gurbaksh. I met him when I was in my early 20s in England. I was on that requisite “post-university discover yourself in Europe” trip when I found out that the people I was with were going to ditch each other. I, being the sheltered kid, started to freak out and phoned home wanting to take the next flight back. My mom contacted her cousin whom she hadn’t seen in years and I ended up staying in Coventry for about a week with relatives I had never met. My Mumma (term for mom’s “brother”) Gurbaksh took me in and made my stay very comfortable although I was homesick beyond consolation at times. He introduced me to his family and extended family, showed me the sites, took me shopping – basically changed my initial perception of Europe. I fell in love with the architecture of England and my love of Europe started during that first visit. I also got to know my Mumma Gurbaksh and his family so very well and re-opened the channels of communication between my mom and him and the families have been close ever since – all my British cousins are my Facebook friends. Mumma Gurbaksh has seen me grow up from that awkward, sheltered, single 20 year old to the crazy, wild, out there father of two (even attending my wedding back in the day). He calls frequently from England to see how myself and my own family are doing and keeps up to date with my antics via Facebook! If not for that awful experience in Europe, I would have never met this British side of my family and gotten to know my Mumma Gurbaksh. You are an awesome uncle! In your honour, I grab some fish n chips and head to my local pub! Cheers!

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