Thirty-three years ago when visiting my fiancée I met Brian. He was a month old and the son of my fiancée’s brother. A month later I would have a wife and Brian would be my nephew.
We raised our family in Minnesota and Deb’s brother and wife raised their two boys in Colorado, so we got together infrequently. The “cousins” would occasionally come up to Minnesota in the summer for some boating and swimming and we went to Colorado once in a while, but geographical distance kept us from getting as close as might have been the case under better circumstances. While I didn’t know Brian and his brother as well as I would have liked, I was sure of one thing; both of my brother-in-law’s sons grew up to be young men of good character. They were, without a doubt, good kids.
After his kids were grown, Deb’s brother took a managing director position with an American firm in Delhi, India. He and his wife have been there for nine years and enjoy the Indian culture and people immensely. Brian went into the military after college and serves as a military officer with the US Army in Kentucky.
In the ever-changing course of cultures, peoples, and places, Brian returns to Winona this weekend. This will be a much different trip than before. This time Brian will honor us with the presence of his parents, his friends, and his fiancée from India, the beautiful and charming Rajalakshmi. They will be wed on a bluff overlooking the river our Native Americans called the Messipi, the “Great Water.” Raja’s parents will come, along with other friends from India.
Welcome back to Winona my nephew, Brian! Just as it happened to your uncle thirty-three years ago, you will have a wife this weekend. And you will bless us with some wonderful new family members that will enhance our love and understanding of each other as family. But more important, you will continue to bless me with your decency, your honesty, and just by being the fine person you are.
Your Uncle Don