For 25 years I’ve carried a Canadian two- dollar bill in my billfold. In fact, it has become so worn that it has torn in half, but that doesn’t changed its value. In fact, its worth has increased immeasurably over the years.

No, it is not a special rarity or does it bear some unique quality from its printing. Its worth comes from its memories, not the actual cash value of the bill itself.

I acquired it many years ago when the children were small, and we had crossed over into Canada at Sault St. Marie as part of a family trip to Minnesota. We had decided to drive north through Michigan, cross over through the Upper Peninsula, cross northern Wisconsin, and then south through Minnesota to our relatives in the St. Paul area.

It was at a restaurant in Sault St. Marie where I acquired the Canadian bill as change, as well as coins for each of the children. It was a precious memory of a family vacation that will never be forgotten. Every time I touch that bill, I recount the priceless moments spent with Joyce, the kids, and my mother-in-law, who also accompanied us on that outing.

Last week one day, I was in a local business when I met a lady wearing a beautiful cross necklace. I complimented her on its beauty and she shared the most heart-warming story concerning its meaning.

It had belonged to a close relative and had been passed on to her with a special memory and a prayer. She wears it all of the time; any time that a moment of need arises in her life, she touches it and it is like touching a prayer. She feels its strength and peace comfort her heart with a moment of consolation.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she said. She added that each time she touches it, she feels the presence and faith of the loved one who once wore it.

There’s no question about the fact that those who understanding the rich meaning of “points of contact” with loved ones understand the meaning of the phrase, “I wouldn’t take a million dollars for this.”

Who can measure the memory of embraces from loved ones that have passed on, the tear that dampens our eyes when we come across toys once played with by our children, or the locket once worn by our mother?

I can still remember the priceless treasure of a set of golf clubs belonging to my father and what I did with them for the first year following his passing. Two months before he passed at Christmastime in 1990, we had played golf at McMillan Park in Fort Wayne. It was one of hundreds of times that the two of us had shared this special outing as a point of communication and friendship. I had no idea at the time that it would be our last.

Ironically, I had driven to the golf course on that day and his clubs were still in the trunk of my car, where they stayed for the next year. On Father’s Day the next summer, I took a ball from his golf bag and placed it on his grave. It was the ball he had used the day of our last outing.

It was a long time before I could finally remove the clubs from car, because within me, there was a sense that as long as they were in the trunk, we might still play golf again some day.

At times, I wonder what our children might some day cling to as memories of our times together. Recently, I learned of at least one such item.

We were visiting our son and I noticed that he was wearing a bracelet. On it were inscribed the words, “Jimmy Langham.” It had been given to me by cousins when I was nine-years-old. He had found it and decided to wear it as a sense of connection with his dad (yours truly).

I just glanced at that two-dollar-bill again. As usual, I felt a lump in my throat as I “saw” Sandi jumping out of a motel swing, Julie swinging along beside her, and Joyce holding Jason while sitting at a picnic table with her mother and watching me take pictures.

Is there any question why that old shabby bill is worth more than a million dollars?