Just recently, my family and I had to make a trip out of town for my Brother in laws funeral. He was a younger man and left behind 3 daughters around the age of 20. They live in a small rural town where the night sky is fairly prominent. One night before the funeral service I walked outside their house where I found one of his daughters "Amanda" gazing in to the night sky, and wondering what she was looking at.
Of course, I (uncle Richard) excitedly explained to her a few facts about the night sky and just what she was looking at. I then started up an iphone app that lets me display constellations on screen while looking in that same direction with the naked eye, so I could point out a few constellations and Astronomical facts to her about our Universe. She was fascinated with the information and it gave me the opportunity to share some real magic of Astronomy with a young mind.
After we talked for a minute I walked on – leaving her with her thoughts and telling her "sorry to disturb you with my nerdy information". As I turned to look away, she was still gazing upwards and her reply back to me was, "not at all uncle Richard, that's amazing..."
I'm not sure if she will remember that night years from now or if she'll just remember spotting a couple of planets and stars with her uncle – but it'll be something I keep with me. Mostly because in some small way I think it helped comfort a young girl who just lost her Father, but also -knowing that Astronomy can be a tool for learning, or a tool for understanding just how small and precious we all are.