A Personal Thank You for My Half Century

Well this is timely –  December 12 , 2012, my 200th blog post and my 50th birthday.

I still can’t believe it because when I look in the mirror or at the mental image of myself, I feel like I am 35 years old with so much to learn.  Yet everyday I go to work, reaffirms that I have earned my place and I have much to give from my hard work and experience well earned.

This is a melancholy day for me as I am as far away from my family as possible – me at the American University of Sharjah in UAE and them in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I miss them terribly and can’t wait to get home next week.  I completely underestimated the personal toll of being away has taken on my psyche.

I feel the pressure of writing a substantial post to commemorate my 50th birthday but don’t know what I can say. So I will make this a post of personal gratitude and thanks.

I will start with my friends and colleagues.  Each of you helps me be better and I am honoured to be a part of your life.  Thank you for sharing your time, guidance and friendship with me.

I am eternally thankful to my parents Alvaro and Rita.  My father passed away in 1998 and I have missed him every day.  My parents were always there for me as a child and made a massive sacrifice by moving our family from Hong Kong in 1968 so that my sister, brother and I could have a better life. There are no words to express my thanks to them for this gift of a better life. It is probably why I feel so passionate and proud to be Canadian.

Thank you to my sister Tonia and my brother Patrick.  We had lots of fun as kids especially when our mother was learning to drive and insisted on us getting out and seeing all there was to see in the Vancouver Lower Mainland area.  We had great picnics and rarely stayed at home in the summers.  I am thankful for Tonia’s family, my brother-in-law Marc and my super nephews and neice,  Mateus, Zoe and Brennan.  I am very thankful and inspired by my sister-in-law Patrick’s partner, Sheila.

I am thankful to all my extended Da Costa family – Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.   I am the oldest of 11 grandkids and we had great times playing together at all our family events and dinners.  We used to have weekly weekend dinners and all us kids had a great time playing together.  Even though our family is too big now to do this, we still have  a lot of fun when the cousins get together.  I am looking forward to seeing them at my party when I get home.

I also am thankful for my de Sousa side of the family.  None of them live in Vancouver so when we see each other it has been a long time and we have much to catch up with.  I can’t remember my paternal grandparents but hear my Grandmother was an amazing cook.

I have a special place of thanks to my maternal grandparents Sebastian and Effie.  Both have passed away now.  My Grandfather taught me many things and I think I have my love of cooking from him.   My Grandmother has a very special place in my heart.  I was born on her birthday and was the beneficiary of being included in all her parties.  It is no wonder that December is my favourite month!

I am very fortunate to have a second family and miss both my father in law Willard and mother in law Doris.  They both treated me like the son they never had.  I am thankful to my sister in law Anne and my special niece Jessica and nephew Jordan.  Now, I also have a new brother in law to complete the picture in Rob.

I am so proud to be the father of two amazing people.  My daughter Erin and my son Will are the two brightest lights in my life.   Being away from them since September has taken a personal toll on me.   I will be hugging you both long and hard when I return next week.  I am sorry that I have been away for so long and I love you both.

There is only one person left and no amount of thanks will cover all she is to me.  She is my best friend and the absolute love of my life.  I have been so fortunate to be her husband for almost 25 years.   Dawn, I love you so much and thank you for sharing your life with me.   We have known each other since 1980 and they have been the best 32 years of my life! I love you.

Now that I reflect on what I have written, I am a very lucky and blessed person.  Thank you for the last half century!  The future is full of promise and today it is 12-12-12!

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