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  • My mom came out for a visit. She was born in New York and lived there with her Grandparents until her Mother moved her and her systers out West. They moved when she was 10. She has not been back to her childhood neighborhood since then. She is here in the photo with my wife and my 4 daughters. Also in the photo is the grave of my Mother's grandparents. My daughter's great-great grandparents. It was a solemn moment for each of us for different reasons. My mom was raised by these grandparents and had not been to the grave in 60 years.

    We then went to visit my mom's childhood home, up in Queens. The home was there and beautifully kept. As we were standing there on the sidewalk - talking about the house and all of the mischief my mom and her cousin used to get up to - the owner of the home came out on the porch to ask us what we were doing standing in her driveway and pointing at her house. We said that my mom used to live in this house and the owner's demeanor completely changed. She asked us in and in fact insisted upon it. She was gracious and I don't think she knew what it meant to invite us in. It was the first time my mom had been back to the neighborhood in 60 years and she will never be back. This was an opportunity of a lifetime for us all. We walked through the house - my mom asking about pantries, doors, basements, and all of the things she remembered. When we got to the second floor - the bedrooms, we talked about each of them. When we got to the last and smallest of the rooms, my mom said, "And that is where Grandmother's bed was - right there. And this is where she died. She raised me because Mother had three jobs after Father left us. When she died, and they took her body down the stairs I stood right here and stamped my foot and said - 'where are you taking her! where are you taking my grandmother!'" The home owner was startled by the story - the story that someone had died in one of her children's bedrooms 67 years before. But it was such a tender moment for my mom and for us. I am grateful for this homeowner and I am grateful for her kindness. It was wonderful to see a glimpse of my roots.
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