Today was a day of reflection. I was thinking of the 75 days that I spent in the Dallas area working. During those days, I was a guest at my sister's home.

I use days to express the length of time instead of months because it was a long period of time.

It was a temporary job but it was a splendid experience living with my sister's family. Usually I am only able to talk to sister by telephone on weekends.

What brought on these memories of familial manifestation? I was talking to a voice of the past from a good family friend of 15 years past. He was doing some work for my nephew. We shared some memories and renewed our friendship. We spoke of the choices that we have made and the events that have not only shaped our lives but changed them to what they are today.

This brought to mind those relationships (family of man) that mean the most to us and we usually just take for granted. I made a promise to myself to try and revive those great friendships that have gone by the wayside. Those are friendships that have not been nurtured because "life gets in the way."

That conversation, of course, brought to mind the great times I had at my sister's home those fabulous 75 days. Yes, I was muddled without my immediate family and living away from home, but I was compensated by a renewal of interaction with my sister and her family. How can I express the great fortune that I had to see one of my five sisters on a daily basis before going to work and upon my return from work?

It meant that I was able to hug my sister and tell her "I love you," on a daily basis. I was able to get to interact with her children (my nieces) and her grandchildren. This was more meaningful to me because I not only missed my own family but also my four grandchildren. I missed the smiles, the antics, the crying, the temper tantrums, the disagreements, the fun times, the sharing of meals, the simple games we played, the hugs, the banter, the whole nine yards.

Normally, when you have to take a job away from home you are not that fortunate to get to stay or live with one of your siblings.

Again, I share my good fortune to remind you that I could have wallowed in the fact that I was away from my home and immediate family. That is something normal and an expected response in situations like my out-of- home employment.

However, we have got to look at the bright side, the positive side. There is always going to be an optimistic side or bright side to any situation, happening or event.

Sometimes we just do not see it because of not enough vision or maybe not enough faith.

Keep the faith and you will find something positive when something unfavorable happens.

Joe-Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at