To My Cousin John
Thank you for speaking to me like I was an adult when I was 8 years old, when I felt so ignored by everyone. For taking time to help me write a story in the 3rd grade, one that got my first praise by a teacher. She showed it to the Principal and I got praise from him too. Probably the first and last time I was complimented on my work in school. Thanks also for introducing me to the wonder that is mechanical pencils. Bic thanks you too.
Thank you for showing me computer games. You have no idea what you started with your archaic IBM. And those pesky Galaga and James Bond 007 games (and all those hours whittled away). Thank you for letting me watch movies like the Dark Crystal and Gremlins, movies my parents would never allow, and staying up beyond my bedtime to break those rules. Thank you for letting swim in your pool all day, every day that summer, and feeding me Tacos and Big Macs after. Thank you for solemnly showing me the bullet holes in your back, and telling me about how you got shot in Vietnam. Those simple words molded my view of war more than any book, any news segment, or photograph could ever do.
Thanks John for all you did. What seemed like such little kindnesses left a permanent impression on me forever. I humbly hope you'd like the person I turned out to be today.
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