I'm thankful for family--that blood that flows mutually between us, around us and within us. The blood that passes down from generation to generation. When I bleed, they bleed. When they bleed, I bleed. I'm thankful for my baby niece, Amaya, who just turned a year old in October. I'm thankful for her mother, my sweet sister, who brought her into my life... giving me yet another part of Renee to love and hold. I'm thankful for her husband, Jaylon, who loves his family in a way that is truly manly and honorable and good. I'm thankful for my mother and my father, both of which are deeply flawed and deeply beautiful. I'm thankful for nights spent helping me with homework, shouldering my tears, putting up with my bad attitudes and passing fads and idiosyncrasies. I'm thankful for my brother, Daniel, whose love for me speaks far louder than his words. He's so quiet and calm. But when we're together he hugs me tight and I appreciate it. I'm thankful for his wife, Sofia, who loves him. I'm thankful for my stepdad and stepmom, my stepbrother and stepsisters. I'm thankful to be a part of a family that's multi-racial, multi-political and multi-religious. A "true Modern Family" as my father puts it. I'm thankful that baby Amaya gets to be a part of this kaleidoscopic quilt of promises and oaths and commitments. There's sometimes heartache, that's for sure, but it's that ache that keeps us trying.