Last week, we went to Maine for my Grandma's 80th birthday. There was a big party, and all of these people from her life attended, and it was very special. After dealing with addiction of her own, she became a substance abuse counselor, and helped so many people over the decades. It's a wonderful case of taking the worst part of your life, and turning it around to help others for nearly 4 decades.
When I was a kid, Grandma took me out on adventures, to go see Star Wars, go skiing, and camping, and riding bikes. She was also a hell of a surrogate father it turned out. When we went anywhere, *anywhere*, she would run into someone she knew, and they would always be thrilled to see her. She has this wonderful warm, open manner, and the best smile and laugh. Along with my mother, she is the most important person in my life who made me who I am. So it means the world to me when she can see me trying to do the same with my kids.
If you can build a life where 80 years in, there's are that many people lining up to tell you how important you are to them, and how much you've made a difference in their lives, you're living a great life. And no, I didn't make it through the speech without breaking up. But I'm so glad I got to do it.