...without a doubt, was the visit by my aunt and uncle from Springfield, Missouri. What a charming pair they are! I know their age in years (thanks to my handy-dandy genealogy database), but their energy and good looks defy how old I know them to be. I feel decrepit sometimes, but these delightful folks are young!
My dad was one of nine children, and this particular uncle is his youngest brother. This photo is how I remembered him for almost 40 years, from the time I left Missouri until I saw him and his lovely wife again at a family reunion in 1996.
It means so much to me that these warm, beautiful people took the time to travel all the way here, and to my sister's home in Texas, to check on the two "little girls" who moved so far away so many years ago. It was a long way to go, especially since my aunt wasn't feeling so well.
I grew up without my father. In fact, I was almost 50 before we communicated frequently enough that I felt I knew him fairly well. Needless to say, there are a lot of gaps in my knowledge of him and his birth family.
By visiting us, my aunt and uncle have given my sister and me the gift of a piece of our father, a piece of our history, a piece of our family.