Up until this past Sunday, I've thought of my circle of relatives as being my immediate family, my uncle, aunt and three cousins, and Nan. Imagine, then, the surprise of meeting about 50 or so Australians on Sunday, with whom I share a blood or marriage tie. So it was with the Hilder family reunion, organised by my incredible mother. She managed to pull together just about all her first cousins and their families, which is no mean feat considering they are the immediate offspring of the seven brothers and sisters of the Hilder family. My grandfather, Clive, was the youngest of this clan. This photo is of Bryan, who I'm not sure is the son of, but I can see a definite resemblance to my Pa. Pa died a few years ago, so it was really nice to be reminded of him and have such a sense of connection to him and through him, to the rest of the enormous Hilder family.
Nan is the last surviving member of that generation, although she's part of the clan by marriage rather than blood. But it was very clear how precious she is to so many of this extended family - not just because she represents the last link with Clive, Phyllis, Daisy, Fred and the other siblings, but because she is a truly wonderful, beautiful woman, and a true lady. As she is in hospital recovering from a stroke, Nan wasn't able to make it in person, but so many people - many of whom I had never met - talked about her fondly and asked after her, that she was very much there in spirit.
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