This past week, my family reconnected with my Aunt Ruth’s family. We had lost touch with them over the years, but a chance connection on Ancestry.com and one phone call were all it took to melt away the years, and now we are back in touch with them again. We have friended each other on Facebook, and looked over the pictures each of us has. I have seen the faces of children who look so much like their parents that it’s like they were looking in a mirror. That got me to thinking back on something I have know about myself almost all my life.

I too, look a lot like someone else in my family…my dad’s sister, my Aunt Ruth. I am built like her and my facial features are a lot like hers. Aunt Ruth and her family used to live here when I was a kid, and we got to see a lot of her and her family. She was a slender, tiny woman with delicate features, and dark wavy hair. But, the thing that is the easiest for me to remember, is her laugh…because it is mine. Often when I laugh, I sound so much like her that it brings her face to mind. It is one way to never forget your aunt, who passed away in 1992. She had a beautiful laugh. She could light up a room with it, and I guess that is why it is always with a mixture of sadness and happiness that her face comes to mind when I laugh.

My Aunt Ruth’s family used to live here in Casper, and we got to see their family a lot. My cousins, my sisters, and I got to see a lot of each other. Oh, the times we had. We would play out in the front yard for hours, or out in the yard at their house. It was great. Our lives were intertwined…the closeness of families…the love.

It’s always sad when families are separated by time and miles, and then by the passing of loved ones. I can only rejoice in the reconnection that has now taken place, and know the those who have gone before us would be very happy and proud. And I think of Aunt Ruth, and know that in Heaven she laughs often, so I will hear that laugh from her and not just from me, and since my dad and her son, Larry are both there too, along with parents and grandparents, I know they have had a great reunion too.

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