What a week it has been; I’m writing this on Tuesday because I’ll be out all day Wednesday.

Yesterday, I transferred to ER in more pain then I ever knew could exist. Turns out to be a kidney stone—and for the record, my nurse who experienced a kidney stone and giving birth said that giving birth is more painful. So we can lay that debate to rest. But on my personal pain scale of 1 thru 10 – it was at 11.

Sunday, a close family friend passed away. And for his life, I am grateful. I’ve know him all my life, yet recently, he taught me a wonderful lesson.

We were at my sister’s home in Southern California. We are gathered in the living room and he and most of his family have come to visit. He sits in one of the chairs and shares his experiences about family and his own history…

His heart opens up and he pours love into that space in such a full manner that I am deeply touched and can physically see it happening. He expands within my being the knowledge that family is all important. The importance of family proceeds most everything else.

Devotion to family will lift one’s own capabilities of loving.

In those moments, I realized that this survivor, who had lost all of his immediate family in his youth, had found love and family pretty much everywhere he went. And in the final chapters of his years, knew that there was nothing greater then such love.

I am grateful for learning this lesson. I am grateful for the life of Gunther Katz—and for his having touched my own.