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Six of us, arriving from far-flung homes, all played guitar and sang together.

These people I hadn't met were as familiar as my father's guitar. I guess I feared that because I had grown up feeling like the gosling who got separated from the rest, I might not have the necessary instincts to recognize my own flock. It turns out I need not have worried.

And after dinner, with everyone drowsy and the dishes dried, my nephew respectfully asked: "Rita, would you mind reading to us from your book?" These kinfolk didn't just want to gloss over the rough parts. They were telling me they were along for the whole ride, the hard truths as well as the pretty ones. No doubt about it, friction will eventually come, but I look forward to working through that as well. Will we be able to handle it? I just know: This family handled blizzards, locusts, lynchings, and slavery. Ain't nothing gonna stop us.

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