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My mother is the oldest of her siblings; I was her first (and only) born. My wartime birth found Mother at her parents’ house while my father was overseas. I came home from the hospital to that house, and I seemed forever returning. Our geographical closeness bred a corresponding relational one as I grew up. I even use the name they all shared. Mother’s parents lived into their nineties, and their age combined with Mother’s and my birth order to extend our relationship through most of my life.


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