Though I only knew Pat and Paul for a short amount of time, the impact they’ve had on my life has been profound. Finding the Herbert family – who for so long had been a mysterious part of Gerry, Amy and my family tree – has been amazing.
Meeting Pat and Paul in January 2010 for the first time, along with other members of the family, was a homecoming for us. Pat’s reaction to our first contact was an unexpected delight: like we already belonged to the Herbert family. She quickly planned a first gathering that not only drew the Berkeley posse but others much further away, including Uncle Paul. That day is one of my richest family memories and will never fade.
In a strange coincidence, Matt and I moved from London to the Bay Area just before our first meeting. Or maybe there is a bigger story at play than we are really aware of! When we moved we were lucky enough to have Gerry, just down the road (met only 10 years earlier), but knew very few other people. And suddenly… we had a family.
We’ve since spent happy Thanksgivings together, attended weddings, and been included in parties and backyard picnics. One of the most amazing things about meeting this family is how much of an affinity we’ve always felt. Trading New York Times articles with Pat via email and meeting for lunch and talking about politics are among my favorite memories.
Being able to meet Pat and Paul while they were still with us was incredible. Their warm embrace, pulling us into your family, has been a gift. I knew them only a short time but miss them and am forever grateful.