Metro Morning

The pivotal moment that shaped 2016 for these Torontonians

It was the little things and the big things — the really big things; the kind that change your life forever — that made 2016 unforgettable for these Toronto residents.

Metro Morning asked listeners for their highlight of 2016

From left to right: Bruce Russell, Peggy Karfilis and Jim Woodgett. (Submitted)

It was the little things and the big things — the really big things; the kind that change your life forever — that made 2016 unforgettable for these Toronto residents.

As the end of the year — considered by some to be one of the worst in history — draws near, we asked you to reflect and tell us your highlight of 2016

These three Metro Morning listeners tell us what they'll cherish about 2016.

When the doorbell rang on an August afternoon, Bruce Russell went through the typical motions: "Is lunch ready? Are the kids dressed and behaving? Am I dressed properly?"

Except, the guest was someone he had longed to meet for years — his biological mother.

To see your own blood, to look at someone else's face and recognize your own features and to see the hands that are like your hands.- Bruce Russell

"That was weird to have her just come to the front door," Russell told CBC Toronto. "There she is after 48 years."

"It felt like meeting old family. It didn't seem like meeting family you had never met."

Russell was adopted shortly after his birth and though he had located his mother years ago, it finally felt like the right time to meet face-to-face.

"It was something. To see your own blood, to look at someone else's face and recognize your own features and to see the hands that are like your hands."

But Russell's adopted family continues to be a part of his life.

"This was not replacing anything. It was just connecting something that had been disconnected a very long time ago."

The father of three said he was thrilled to have his children meet their biological grandmother.

"Now the kids have another piece of history. It's very important for me to have my own history filled in but it's more important to me for my kids to have that continuity."

"Angels" run the medical day care unit at St. Michael's Hospital in downtown Toronto, says Peggy Karfilis.

"It's so incredibly awakening about how people devote themselves to us patients at a hospital," she told CBC Toronto.

Last week, she learned her cancer was in remission and was so elated by the news, she kissed her doctor.

I had no idea what gratitude meant and now I really do.- Peggy Karfilis

"I'm kind of reborn. It's really happened," Karfilis said.

"Being in a remission, it's the moment you want to hear but it's still not quite over."

Karfilis was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last August, though she hates to say the word.

For now, she is focusing on her recovery and continues to receive treatment at St. Mike's.

"Everything has changed. I'm just more of who I was," she said. "I had no idea what gratitude meant and now I really do."

You can hear Jim Woodgett's smile through the telephone as he speaks about his granddaughter, his first grandchild.

"She's growing up so quickly," he said.

He gushes about her hair and her oohs and aahs.

"It puts things into perspective. You want to make sure they get the best of everything."

He enjoys seeing how delighted his daughter and her husband are.

"It reminds me of how I felt when I first became a father. You kind of get to relive that," he said.

"There's not many things in life you get to relive."

Metro Morning was inundated with your single favourite memories of 2016.

There was new love and old love, the birth of babies and the birth of a bolder, adventurous you.

There were dream jobs and dream vacations. 

And underscoring it all, a reminder that perhaps things are not as bad as they can seem.

now