Gratitude journal: A safe arrival, a game of poker and an honest-to-goodness resurrection

It’s been three days since I have expressed my gratitude in written form. It’s been fairly busy and crazy days.

On Thursday, I was grateful to be reunited with my brother after more than five years apart. I saw my brother at my mother’s funeral in 2007 and then did not see or hear from him again until this week. Family members attempted to locate him over the past five years without success, so two years ago, I began operating under the assumption that he was probably dead. His reappearance came as both a shock and a happy surprise.

I planned on writing a full account of the almost unbelievable confluence of events that led to our unexpected reunion, but I have instead decided to write the story with the hopes of placing it in a newspaper. I will write a brief account of the reunion in a future blog post but save the details for the newspaper piece.

On early Friday morning, I was grateful to arrive home safely after almost five hours of driving solo from New York City. I left the 92nd Street Y in lower Manhattan around 10:00 PM and spent more than an hour in standstill traffic on the West Side Highway before finally getting underway.

The drive through New York and Connecticut on the Merritt Parkway was not an easy one.  In constant danger of falling asleep at the wheel, I pulled off the road at every rest area along the way, parked the car until the glow of a street light, and ran around the parking lot until the combination of exercise and cold temperatures had reinvigorated me. When I finally arrived home just after 2:00 AM, I was thankful to have made it home in one piece.

On Saturday I was grateful for my ability to play poker, a game which allows both friends and strangers to gather around a table and spend hours eating, drinking, competing, and engaging in meaningful conversation.

Had I been invited to a stranger’s house for dinner and conversation, I would have assumed that the invitee was a lunatic, but add a simple form of competition and the invitation becomes perfectly normal.

This is how guys operate. Give us something to do and we will happily spend hours together without complaint.

Thankfully, I am a good poker player, so I can usually make some money in the process, though this was not the case last night.

Still, I was happy to play.