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  • Dusty, fragile.. a bit festooned with cobwebs and missing the youthful softness they once had...
    But treasured! Treasured for what is now gone, treasured for the rarity of the occasion, treasured because they survived back and forth trips as I struggled to leave an abusive marriage.
    I was visiting my parents out in rural Minnesota 15 or so years ago and my Dad pulled the car off to the side of the road and told me to go cut some pussy willow branches for myself. At first I thought he was joking.. this was not in fitting with his growly, gruff demeanor but I found he was serious and so I waded through the tall grass and then through the somewhat swampy ground that squelched under my shoes to gather the young, silky-soft plump things that would eventually wither and dry and turn dark as the years passed.
    This precious memory of a man that loved me unconditionally will stay with me always. My dad passed away at age 65 ... quite a few years ago now and the bitter, bitter pain of his death has mellowed to something that is almost a comfort.
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