by Gregg Barkley
(Ruther Glen, Va.)
This is my daughter Pepper Alicia Barkley. Of all the days of the year Christmas was her favorite. She was always happy to be with the family as we unwrapped our presents, and helped her unwrap hers, and have Christmas dinner.
Usually she would always pose regally for pictures but Christmas was guaranteed to get the best candid shots of her and her unbridled joy. This picture was taken in 1995 when she was 7-years old.
The happiness at romping amongst the wrapping paper and being with her family is self-evident. Her grandmother got this shot on the fly and it is still one our favorite pictures of her; a first among equals if you will and one we carry in our hearts.
This year marks the 11th Christmas with her watching the family from Heaven and there is still a Pepper-sized hole in the hearts of her family for the Sweetest Fuzz That Ever Was.