My family, as I was growing up, never resembled the "model American household." My mother was diagnosed with stage three cancer when I was six and never quite recovered afterward. My father often worked multiple teaching jobs and would wake up at 3am to meditate before his early morning commute. Neither one stayed home to take care of me like so many of my friends' parents did. There were never family dinners – we were all on radically different schedules. But for all of these seeming flaws in my family life, there were two things my parents supplied in abundance that, looking back, made all the difference: unconditional love and support.