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  • It all started with a need for crackers. Not just any crackers. Saltines wouldn't do. They had to be oyster crackers. "I like the way they look in my soup" said my daughter, suffering from the flu, her raspy voice adding to the crackle of our cellphone conversation. I walked the aisles of our local market like I was in search of the holy grail. "Oyster crackers, oyster crackers," I muttered under my breath. "Found you!" I was so focused, I missed seeing the elderly woman standing near me and bumped into her as I reached for my found treasure. "Excuse me, I'm sorry" I said. There was no reply. She stood transfixed on the multitude of packaged snacks. I noticed she was muttering under her breath, but I couldn't make out the words. I asked if I could help. Again, no reply. Finally, I noticed she was weeping. I gently touched her shoulder, "Ma'am can I help?" The pause felt like an eternity, then she looked at me with her red and puffy eyes and said, "Not unless you can bring him back."

    I sat in my car, watching the rain.

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