The following day I was joined by sister, Judy, her husband and our mother. After a bit of time with Louis skillfully taking down a couple of dead trees, while Hugh sawed the logs and Natali stacked, we took off up the mountain to visit the places of our youth. For me, there was a definite, strong sense of belonging in these surroundings.
Before leaving, we made our way to Alcoa, Tennessee to say goodbye to my father's brother, Robert William Patton. He would have been 94 the following day. He left behind two children, a grandson and the love of his life for 67 years, his wife, Jean.
This was life as it should be; family connections, gaining strength through each other, good memories that made us what we are and enough love and faith to see each other through to the end. This is my wish for all of you.
Back to the Smoky Mountains