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My wonderful grandparents, Flo and Lou, at their own wedding and my parents’ wedding. My dad loved them so much, he lived with them until he was 34 years old, at which point he only moved out because he married my mom. They loved her, too, as if she were their own daughter; my grandpa carried a photo of my mother in his wallet.

They only knew me as a child but I wonder all the time what they’d think of how I turned out. I think they’d be amused that I chose to live in the city they grew up in before they escaped to the suburbs where I was raised, and that I dedicated part of my college major to studying the language they spoke as children but then forgot. I bet they’d be proud that I went to college at all — a first in this particular branch of the family tree; my grandma didn’t even finish high school before she went to work as a hairdresser at age 14 to help support her family.

I was their only granddaughter. I’m glad I had the privilege of knowing them at all.