I've been around for so long but I can say that it is only today when I truly understood the meaning of 温暖 (wen nuan) which is 'warmth' in Chinese.
I arrived at my parent's place early this morning to do some packing for the gardening business. Cookie rushed to greet me the moment I stepped out of my car, wagging his tail vigorously as he nuzzled my hand.
My nieces came prancing out the door. They looked genuinely pleased to see me.
As I settled down to work in the garage, mum came and sat beside me, chatting about everything and nothing in particular. The words flew over my head mostly but just having her beside me was very comforting. I haven't had this feeling in a long time, especially after moving out.
Now I understand why my kids like having me around at home. They don't care if I am out pottering about in the garden or reading in my room but they're happy knowing that I am near them.
This intangible thing is what we call family warmth, it's something that many people take for granted. Sadly, most people only realise how precious it is after they have lost it.