As well as for my daughter Carol who loved him, his daughter-in-law Espree who was my good right arm, all the grands and greatgrands he hasn't yet met and of course all of you.
This was taken on our last trip back to Arkansas while my husband Jim was alive. He was recovering from surgery on his leg for the cancer which had started in his prostate and spread to the bone before he had any symptoms. Any guys reading this - checkups are crucial and prostate is one of the most curable of cancers if it's caught early enough. Jim was 54. He died much too young. Partners - you nag if necessary as well.
We didn't know how much time we had so we took the boys back for a visit while Jim was still well enough to do it. He fooled everyone and stretched "maybe" six months into five years. Tough guy. He made one more trip alone so he, his mom, and his two brothers could have the time together. I'm so glad he could. On our next trip in April 1988 we carried his ashes back.
I didn't mean to end on a sad note and this trip wasn't sad at all. It was a time of mending fences, taking pictures, and generally enjoying ourselves once again as a united family. Even given what followed, I wouldn't trade that time together for anything.
Believe it or not (and knowing me you probably do) there's a full length post buried under the pictures. At least I think that's where it will turn up. I saved it as a draft in case some of these didn't turn out.