This has been something I’ve tried to do for years and was sparked by a somewhat similar situation. My first husband’s family couldn’t have been more different from me that if I’d been born on a different planet. They were and are lovely people, but we invariably struggled to find common ground – all except for his uncle. Uncle Bill didn’t fit in the family either and for whatever reason, he and I clicked. Now he was much older, lived in San Francisco so it’s not like I saw him frequently, but when I did I could always relax and not have to worry about that mutual incomprehension.
A few years ago – and long after my first husband and I were divorced – I learned Bill was seriously ill and not expected to survive. I kept meaning to drop him a note and thank him, to tell him how comforting it was whenever he was around and how much I’d really enjoyed his friendship. But I never did and of course he died.
I’m on a mission to never repeat that again. You know that motto “If you see something, say something”? Well I’m changing it to something more appropriate for me. If I feel something positive, or I see you doing something really cool, I’m going to say something.