Each December, PetTalk features a cross section of Notable Houstonians writing essays from the heart. This year, Lance McCullers Jr. of the World Series Champs, Houston Astros, writes about Family. Be sure to check out the digital issue to enjoy the other essays and valuable content!

FAMILY, By Lance McCullers Jr. (Photo by Allison McPhail of Evin Thayer Studios)

A sense of family is a crucial element in staying grounded and feeling supported in life. As I look back on this incredible year of winning the World Series with the Houston Astros and even beyond at the career I have been blessed to enjoy, I recognize that the accomplishments and the journey would not have been possible without the love and support of those closest to me.

By dictionary definition, a family is a group of people united by the ties of blood, marriage or adoption but the true meaning of family is much broader. For me, first is my family at home; my wife, daughter and my three dogs Minka, Riggins, and Finn. They are my center, my bedrock and the thing that makes me the most happy. Playing with our daughter or rough-housing with the dogs in the backyard are both mine and my wife’s joy. Knowing they are there for me gives me the strength and confidence to excel in other areas. 

Family also extends to brotherhood, which is what I am grateful to have with my Astros teammates. Each time we practice or experience the ins and outs of games, we have each other’s back. We are united in a common goal, understanding of one another’s differences, and respectful that we are on a journey together, as a family.

And finally, the family that provides the framework for resilience and hope is community. I’ve been privileged to call Houston home for six years where the fans have been overwhelmingly loyal. Because of their continued spirit of faith, we as Astros were thrilled to bring the trophy “home to our family”.

With Christmas approaching, it’s the perfect time of year to offer good cheer, help those in need – both human and animal, and celebrate the joy of family.