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NEXT OF KIN

Caitlin Hicks

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Published by:
Caitlin Hicks at Smashwords
Copyright (c) 2011 by Caitlin Hicks

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All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

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First published in MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL (2003), Wisconsin, as

A visit for remembrance

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It is a story that began and ended before I existed. All the words were spoken, the songs sung, promises made, kisses exchanged, letters, flowers and telegrams -- all just a memory before my parents even met.

Yet, even after they loved and married and I materialized, six births later, the story carried on in my mother’s heart. Even now, long after my mother’s heart has stopped beating, the story carries on in mine.

When I was fifteen, my sister Mary showed me a newspaper clipping she found in Mother’s cedar chest in the tool shed. On a smoggy summer Pasadena day, Mary had lured us into the cobwebbed darkness one by one, with the promise of a really good secret.

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