This is my extended family on my mother's side. With the exception of my brother, who's the handsome fellow in the lower left corner of this photo, these people, although they comprise some of the most beloved people in the world to me, all live in Taiwan, including my mother, and my grandmother who just survived breast cancer, and my cousin Danya, who is one of the sweetest and smartest young women I know and loves IHOP, and my cousin Jackson, who used to play with me when I was still in the crib and is now a doctor and takes some of the most amazing, joyous, heartbreaking photographs that I know of, and my uncle who lived with us in America for five years, and so on. I love this image because of how ridiculously happy everyone looks. I feel sad when I see this image because I am always, on some level, fundamentally divorced from them, if only from the vantage point of distance. I go to see my Taiwanese relatives once every three to five years. But this will be one of those years, and every time, I see my faraway family and faraway country with different eyes.
I am thankful for the restoration of my mental health (as much as such a thing exists), but the community I have that should allow this to happen, including my family, friends, doctors, hospitals, Daphne, blog readers, co-workers, etc. -- all of you are what truly save me, year after year -- and I do not exclude myself from this community; I am, in fact, fiercely proud to be a part of it.
Whatever you do today, whoever you are, I hope you find a moment of rest.