The person my father i admire

Table of Content

During my hospital stay, my family relocated from our residence on Hodge Avenue, causing me to experience anger without understanding the reason behind this change. Consequently, upon leaving the hospital in May and completing sixth grade, I had to transfer schools. This alteration endured for two years as I attended Kennedy Elementary School for seventh and eighth grades. Situated on a hillside, Kennedy Elementary School features three levels that ascend the slope. Rather than conventional staircases, ramps are present throughout the hallways.

I found it very easy to use braces on my legs at that school. One memory I have is singing the following song in the talent show along with a group of seven other girls. The song is called “I Believe” by an unknown author. The lyrics of the song go as follows: “I

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Then I understand the reason behind my belief. The school organized monthly dances for the seventh and eighth grades. During one of these dances, we had a DJ from a local radio station. That night, there was a raffle and I happened to win a coupon for a free pair of shoes at Nordstrom’s store. As I went up on stage to receive the coupon, the DJ, with the microphone turned on, jokingly asked me, “Are you standing in a hole?” Despite feeling embarrassed, I didn’t hesitate to take the coupon! Several years later, I was able to reconnect with my school friends through the internet.

All of them recognized me immediately when they were informed that I began attending school with leg braces. Currently, the former Kennedy Elementary School has been transformed into a luxurious hotel. The classrooms are now guest rooms, and there is an exquisite restaurant and a relaxing “soaking pool”. Three significant occurrences took place after sixth grade, in the summer of 1955. Firstly, our family acquired our first television. As I had limited mobility due to the leg braces, my parents believed it would be a delightful addition for me to enjoy.

During the six-month period when I had braces, I remained highly active. I even used a push mower to mow the lawn, which was a liberating feeling. One memorable event occurred that summer: my half-brother, Troy Lee Berglund, was born on July 4, 1955 in Portland. The nurse who attended both my brothers’ births happened to be Janice’s mother named Gloria. For more information about this event, please see page 26 in Chapter 3 of “Ocean Depths”.

Due to the limited space in our two-bedroom house, each bedroom was equipped with a crib. I have memories of my mother standing by my crib at night, attempting to soothe a crying baby so they could fall asleep again and she could return to her own bed. If one baby woke up and began crying, it would easily disturb the other one. Troy suffered from asthma, which resulted in multiple emergency trips to the hospital where he had to stay inside an oxygen tent. To assist Troy, our parents were advised to maintain a dust-free environment at home. Consequently, we predominantly had hardwood or linoleum floors, furniture covered in vinyl material, and even plastic curtains on the windows.

While exploring my mother’s long-held steamer trunk in the basement on a rainy day, I stumbled upon an assortment of items. Among them was a Bible adorned with a black leather cover and pages embellished with gilt edges. What caught my attention was my father’s name elegantly inscribed in gold on the front. Reverently grasping this cherished find, I instantly recognized its value as a treasure. Despite feeling overwhelmed by the desire to peruse its contents, I acknowledged that it did not belong to me and carefully returned it to the trunk. My plan was to seek permission from my father to borrow it.

Summoning enough courage, I finally confessed to him that I had discovered it and asked for permission to borrow it. Much to my delight, he responded that he would never require it again and permitted me to keep it. This brought me immense joy! Each night before going to sleep, I would peruse those extraordinary pages. While my parents were aware of my possession of the Bible, a part of me still feared revealing when I was reading it. Whenever I heard footsteps approaching my bedroom, I hastily concealed the Bible under the blankets and pretended to be engrossed in another text. It took some time for me to abandon this habit.

Because my parents did not go to church and there was tension at home as a result, I started feeling a certain way. Religion was a topic we all avoided, even though my paternal grandparents went to church regularly and would often take me with them. Furthermore, I was far away from my friend Janice, which meant I had no support or way of getting to church. Not being familiar with the content of the Bible made it hard for me to start reading it. So, during the summer, I chose to read various sections of the Bible in a non-sequential order.

Every night, I would read and every day, I would reflect on what I had read. My strong desire to continue reading made it difficult for me to fully understand God. Sometimes, I saw Him as a strict judge, but other times, I perceived Him as a loving deity who sacrificed Jesus for our sins. This caused me to go back and forth between the ideas of punishment and forgiveness. However, it became clear that while God is perfect, I am flawed. This made me feel overwhelmed because it seemed impossible to reach the level of goodness required by God. As I immersed myself in studying the New Testament and deepening my understanding of Jesus, He was constantly on my mind. His presence always surrounded me!

I started praying tentatively, overwhelmed by the realization that Jesus had sacrificed himself specifically for my sake! Alongside that, I experienced immense guilt as I reflected on my sinful nature. Repeatedly, I confessed my sins to God and pleaded for salvation. I wept with sorrow over my transgressions and shame. I expressed gratitude towards Him for Jesus, acknowledging that I understood Jesus had died on my behalf. Unsure of the exact duration, whether it was days or weeks, I oscillated between sadness regarding my guilt and elation that God had concern for me. Eventually, a point arrived where my heart found solace.

At the age of 12, I had a deep understanding that God had changed something within me. I couldn’t find the words or comprehension to explain this spiritual encounter. My heart was constantly filled with a newfound wonder. The following chorus from an old song beautifully captured my feelings: “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul, – Thank you, Lord, for making me whole; Thank you, Lord, for giving to me – Thy great salvation so rich and free.” Written by an unknown author. (Source: Ocean Depths – Page 27 – Chapter 3)

The experience I went through can be found in Hebrews 6 verse 11 of the Bible, stating that “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” This is precisely what happened to me; I truly believed in God’s existence, that He IS. Through my continuous reading and pleas to Him, I also had faith that He would respond to me. The notion of a reward wasn’t initially in my mind, as my primary goal was to gain knowledge of Him as an individual. My prayers were desperate cries for Him, a way to escape the guilt I felt as an imperfect person who inevitably sinned.

I couldn’t help but acknowledge my imperfection and question the nature of God, His thoughts, and His perception of me. I searched for understanding and absolution, hoping to evade punishment. But God surpasses our limited perception. He not only rewards us but exceeds our expectations by revealing His magnificence and claiming us as His own when we pursue Him wholeheartedly. In constantly contemplating His presence in the world and in my own life, God rewarded me with insight into His existence.

Thus commenced my genuine life journey, a journey with God. Each day, I endeavor to enhance my knowledge of Him by studying the Bible and fostering my connection with Christ. Presently, after numerous years have passed, I am writing these remarks from a standpoint of heightened comprehension of spiritual realities as they manifest in the Bible. This poem accurately portrays my current spiritual stance. And what lies ahead? I have merely skimmed the superficial understanding of Your divine nature, Lord, and You have only just initiated the process of unveiling Yourself to me.

“That is all transcending; I’m standing on the rippling shore; Love’s ocean depths are all before.” – Miles J. Stanford (Imag-ination 14 page 31 — emphasis mine)

While reading further, I eventually encountered the account in John chapter nine of a man who was born blind. Every individual with a chronic medical condition at some point wonders, “Why me?” As an adolescent, I cannot recall explicitly verbalizing this query, but upon discovering this narrative in the New Testament, my thoughts unexpectedly connected with an answer to my unexpressed question.

The opening verses of the chapter recount an encounter between Jesus and a man who had been blind since birth. The disciples questioned whether the man’s blindness was a result of his own sin or that of his parents. Jesus responded, stating that neither the man nor his parents were responsible for his condition, but rather it presented an opportunity for God to demonstrate His works through him. When Jesus healed the man, it profoundly transformed his life and served as a testament to God’s love and power towards someone unfamiliar. During that time, I imagine the man must have been a beggar sitting by the roadside, relying on the generosity of passersby.

Despite having numerous possessions, I faced personal hardship that was insignificant compared to the challenging means by which he earned a livelihood. Nevertheless, I came to understand that enduring this bone condition was justifiable if it allowed God’s works to be showcased through me. While I never harbored hope for healing like the blind man, I found contentment and appreciation for God’s love and the liberation from guilt caused by sins.

It was sufficient that He cared about me! I did not feel the need for any physical miracle. Ocean Depths – Page 28 – Chapter 3 I HAVE COME FROM THE DARKNESS Marian Wood Chaplin, – Copyright 1964 by Broadman press I have transitioned from darkness to the Lord’s light; I have moved from night to day. He has guided my steps through the truth of His Word; Through His love, He has shown me the path. In the presence of His light, all temptations fade away, And doubts are dispelled. With the brightness of sunshine, He has entered my heart, Where His Spirit of love continues to dwell.

I have transitioned from darkness to light, embracing the redemption from sin. The might of my Savior, who resides within me, fills my soul with joy. Moving on to my middle school years, I previously mentioned in chapter two that I referred to Dale by his name. However, to simplify things for the reader, I have been calling him dad until now. Following my mother’s marriage to Dale, I still addressed him as Dale and was not urged by anyone to call him daddy. It was believed that over time, as I adjusted and stopped longing for my biological father, I would naturally adopt the term dad.

Despite expectations, when my mother married Dale, his mother insisted that I call them Grandpa and Grandma Berglund instead of Mr. and Mrs. Berglund. Although it had been nearly four years since their marriage, I still referred to my stepfather Dale by his name – a habit that had become familiar to me and went unopposed. My mother and Dale appeared unaffected by this as well. However, in January 1956, a few weeks after turning thirteen, I received an unexpected phone call from my biological father Vincent Taylor!

After a long period of 70 years without any communication, my father finally reached out to me in 2020. He phoned me on my birthday and mentioned that when I graduate from high school, he would give me $1000 specifically for college expenses. However, he wanted to talk with my mother who was busy doing laundry in the basement at that time. She was washing cloth diapers since disposable ones were not available during those days. Surprised by the unexpected call, I quickly went downstairs to let her know who was calling. She instructed me to keep adding more diapers to the load while she spoke with him. Once their conversation ended, she asked if my father had made any commitments to me, so I informed her about his promise of money.

She claimed that he consistently failed to fulfill his promises to her in the past, so I shouldn’t expect him to behave differently towards me. Personally, I never really believed he would keep that promise anyway, considering how he abandoned me before and broke my innocent heart. The atmosphere in the house became tense after Vincent’s phone call. A few days later, my mother took me aside and told me to stop using Dale’s name and start calling him daddy instead. It felt very strange for me to comply after such a long time! I can’t help but wonder why they decided to address it now after all this time?

The reason for their concern was likely that my father’s call could potentially separate me from the family they were building with each other. In the summer of 1956, Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Carl invited me to join them on a trip. They wanted their daughter, my cousin Gini, to have someone her age to keep her company. This gave me the amazing opportunity to accompany them on their vacation! They towed a small camping trailer behind their car and we camped in various places, starting with Glacier National Park in Montana. Then we continued to Waterton Park, Banff, Lake Louise, and the Columbia Ice Fields, all located in the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

It was a great journey! Ocean Depths – Page 29 – Chapter 3 Dad’s employment always involved using heavy equipment. He drove trucks, dug swimming pools, operated cranes on dams, and twice he started his own business. Both businesses ended in failure. The first time, he rented out his truck to transport goods on long-distance trips across the country. This created difficulties for him and my mother because she had to be alone for long periods while working a full-time job and leaving the three of us children with a babysitter. I particularly remember one load that he transported.

It was a remarkable sight – a semi trailer filled to the brim with loose mustard seeds, with no containers to hold them. This happened during the summer of 1957, after I completed eighth grade and we relocated to a beautiful three-bedroom house. The house, painted in a lovely shade of yellow, was situated on a corner lot adorned with towering trees on two sides. The abundance of large trees meant plenty of leaves to rake during the autumn season, a task I thoroughly enjoyed. To my delight, the house also came with an upright piano which provided me with hours of amusement as I taught myself how to play.

This was marvelous; I finally had a room of my own! It was a two-story house with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor. The boys and I had our rooms upstairs. While there was no school that summer, I took care of my two little brothers while our parents both worked. It was fun at first but soon became a chore. I remember being mean to them, doing petty things such as grabbing a toy from one of them, pounding on the piano very loudly when it was their naptime, or letting them scream in their cribs for long periods of time.

Resenting the responsibility of taking care of them all day, I now realize that transitioning from being an only child to having two little brothers must have been quite an adjustment. I started ninth grade at Ulysses S. Grant, a four-year high school located at NE 33rd and Broadway in Portland. I would commute by riding the city bus and then walking across a park to get to the campus. However, my memories of this school are limited as I only attended for three months. It was during my time living in this house that I recall having to monitor my ability to read by examining my urine!

Medical science has found that my kidneys do not properly regulate phosphorous, which is important for bone health. To monitor the amount of phosphorous leaking from my kidneys, I was instructed to collect my first morning urine in a glass jar. I would then hold a small piece of paper next to the jar and try to read its contents by looking through the jar from the other side.

The task was to note down the size of print I could read each day. The print became less legible as the urine became cloudier, indicating a greater loss of phosphorus through the kidneys. I recorded this information daily and brought it to my next clinic appointment at Shriner’s. Based on the results of these reading tests, my vitamin D dosage was adjusted. However, this testing method was short-lived as my family decided to relocate once again, this time to southern California!

Initially, the plan was for me to start attending clinic visits at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles once we were settled there. However, life became busy and we never got around to going to the clinic. As a result, I wasn’t involved in the medical world for about seven years. Our move, which happened during the Christmas break from school, meant that I was separated from the large extended family I had been close to for the past six and a half years. Despite this, I found comfort in the fact that I would be near my mother’s two sisters, Evelyn and Harriet, and that I would attend school with my cousin Gini.

We traveled from Portland, Oregon to La Canada, a suburb of Los Angeles, in a two-door sedan. Accompanying me were my two little boys, a bird in a cage, and possibly a cat without a cage. During the journey, I distinctly recall the repeated bumps of the tires on cracks in the California cement highway. Upon reaching our destination, we settled into a rental house in La Canada. This was particularly thrilling for me, as I would have the opportunity to attend the same school as my cousin Gini.

However, for reasons unknown to me, we only resided in that house for a week. We relocated to the adjacent small suburb known as La Crescenta, where we rented a different house and changed school districts. It was a common occurrence, then and now, for the foothills north of Los Angeles to be engulfed in wildfires every year. We were close enough to observe planes and helicopters dropping chemicals on the fires while sitting outside in our yard. It was captivating to witness the fiery glow on the hillsides during those sultry summer evenings. Unlike today, houses were not constructed as high up into the hills at that time.

During that time, it was uncommon for homes to be at significant risk. In Portland, I attended a four-year high school. However, upon relocating to California, the high school consisted of only three years. Consequently, I had to complete the latter half of 9th grade at a junior high school, which made me feel somewhat demoted. Nonetheless, the silver lining was that the school was conveniently located across the street from our initial rental house in La Crescenta. Throughout the following four years, we resided in a total of six houses. Thankfully, all these homes fell within the same school district, allowing me to maintain my friendships and continue my education uninterrupted throughout the entirety of high school.

A few memories from that time include buying Aunt Evelyn a baby duckling for her birthday on Easter Sunday. I enjoyed going to the feed and seed store and couldn’t resist getting the ducklings. I purchased one for 50 cents and brought it home to keep overnight until her birthday party the following day. I made a shoe box for it to sleep in, but it made noises that kept me awake. Eventually, I placed the little duckling in the pocket of my pajamas, and we both slept well all night! As it grew, the “duck” turned into a beautiful white goose!

Evelyn always had her loyal companion, a goose, by her side. This feathered friend would diligently ward off any pesky insects in her yard but unfortunately left behind quite a mess with its droppings. The solution was to relocate the goose to Forest Lawn, a vast cemetery boasting numerous ponds, gardens, and fellow geese for the bird to join. During one of our many homes, I distinctly recall acquiring a small electric organ with two levels of keyboards and an octave of foot pedals. With the purchase came ten complimentary lessons which I eagerly took advantage of. Despite my efforts to continue learning on my own, the organ eventually vanished.

The reason for that occurrence is one of the many things I appear to have forgotten. Over these years, my parents separated briefly, likely due to my father’s frequent drinking. Although he never lost his job or became violent when drunk, it’s possible that there were other problems in their marriage that I was unaware of. During those four years, I went to a small Covenant church since it was close enough to walk to from one of our homes. However, after we moved further away, members of the church would give me rides to ensure I could still attend. Once I obtained my driver’s license, I could use the car on most Sunday mornings.

The church’s small youth group led to us, the four teenagers, constantly appointing ourselves as “officers” in the group. Participating in a choir for the first time brought me great joy. As a junior in high school, I had the opportunity to attend church camp, which was my only chance. Since there was no high school in La Crescenta at that time, we were all transported to Glendale, where we attended Herbert Hoover High School, a three-year school. It was during my time as a junior at Hoover that I joined the Youth For Christ Club (YFC), which held meetings on campus.

In high school, I made lasting friendships with the people I now consider my friends. Many of us in the Club attended the YFC rallies at The Church of the Open Door (COD) in downtown Los Angeles every Saturday evening. COD was a massive church with a seating capacity of 4,000, and it was always filled to capacity for the rallies! It was an exhilarating experience to witness so many young people coming together to worship the Lord! This year was a turning point for me in terms of how I perceived my social activities. Being a young Christian, I believed that my fun should align with my beliefs.

Throughout my life, I have always upheld the belief that certain values are essential. During my younger years, I focused primarily on YFC, attending church, cherishing the friendships I formed, and delving into my beloved Bible. As a result, I made a deliberate choice to “give up” certain activities. School dances no longer interested me, although it wasn’t much of a sacrifice since I rarely received invitations to dance and my dancing skills were less than stellar. Luckily, my Christian companions accepted me for who I was. We all felt at ease engaging in social activities, attending club meetings, and partaking in Bible studies.

There was a sense of camaraderie and acceptance among us, something that everyone desires in their lives. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything by not attending school dances. Instead, I felt included and accepted. Throughout most of my junior year, I was in a relationship with a boy named Del, who was also involved in YFC. However, during the second semester, Del abruptly ended our relationship. Although I was devastated at first, I managed to bounce back quite swiftly. It didn’t take long for Del to find another girlfriend, and they got married soon after graduating the following year.

During the teen years, there is often a contemplation of life, values, personal identity, beliefs, and mortality. I vividly recall expressing to my mother one morning over breakfast that we should embrace and kiss each other before leaving, as we never know if it will be our last opportunity to see each other. This idea greatly alarmed my mother, who responded with shock and urged me not to entertain such thoughts. However, this notion lingered in my mind for an extended period, even though I refrained from bringing it up again.

In my later years and the lives of those I loved, it became painfully true – death is inevitable for all of us, often happening sooner than expected. It is crucial that we discuss this topic openly. Avoiding conversation about it does not prevent its occurrence, just as talking about it does not cause it to happen. During the summer of 1960, after my junior year of high school, I had the amazing opportunity to join Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Carl, and cousin Gini on another trip. We drove along the old Route 66 from Los Angeles, passing through Arizona, New Mexico, and the Texas panhandle. It was during this journey that we witnessed fireflies for the first time.

At Oklahoma City, Route 66 turned north towards Chicago. We then continued east on the highway, which is now I-40, all the way to Knoxville, Tennessee. From there, we headed north to Washington D.C. passing through North Carolina and Virginia. It was an amazing opportunity for me to explore our beautiful country. However, it was in our nation’s capital that I had an unfortunate encounter with a new style of high-heeled shoes known as “slings”. These slip-on shoes had an open-toe design and no straps, only elastic in the arch, which resulted in a slapping sound while walking.

During my visit to the Capital Building, I had a mishap on the marble stairs. I lost my footing and slid down several steps on my shins. Thankfully, I managed to grab onto the railing’s spindle bars to stop myself. Although I was shaken, I consider myself lucky that I only ended up with some bruises on my shins. After that incident, my friend Gini and I explored other landmarks such as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. We also made a stop at Arlington National Cemetery.

Especially fascinated by the statue of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, the White House, the Ford Theater where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and the house across the street where he died, Evelyn Carl Gini & MeOcean Depths – Page 32 – Chapter 3 From there we continued our journey to New York City, where we stopped by an automat, a unique type of restaurant that was quite popular at that time. It was simply a room with tables, chairs, and vending machines filled with sandwiches, candy bars, and sodas! We also had the opportunity to go up to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, although the arm area was off-limits to visitors.

That’s all I can recall about my time in NYC! After that, we traveled to Connecticut and Massachusetts to visit relatives and see historical landmarks like Plymouth Rock, Lexington, and Concord. These towns were significant because the Revolutionary War started there on April 19, 1775, with the famous “shot heard around the world.” We also stopped by the Toll House, known for its famous cookies. In Boston, we explored the old downtown area, where some streets still had cobblestones. Unfortunately, I made a silly mistake with my sling shoes again and ended up holding up traffic on a busy street. My heel got stuck in the cobblestones, causing me to walk out of my shoe. I had to go back and retrieve it!

During our journey back to the west, we made a stop at the magnificent and awe-inspiring Niagara Falls. As we continued our trip from that area, we encountered the New York-Chicago Toll Road system, which is also known as the Expressway or Turnpike. This early system now encompasses sections of Interstates 70, 80, and 90, along with other highways.

While driving, a strong gust of wind caused one of our suitcases, which were secured on the roof of the station wagon, to unexpectedly open. Gini and I were in the back of the car, engrossed in reading, when we suddenly noticed our clothing flying through the air behind us! Uncle Carl bravely stopped the car and ran across the highway to gather our underwear, risking his own safety.

It was quite amusing, especially for us girls, when our journey on I-70 led us to the summit of the Continental Divide in Colorado. There, Gini and I had fun playing in patches of snow in July, which was an extraordinary experience for two girls from southern California. Little did I know at that time that this location would hold a special significance for our family in the future. The Eisenhower Tunnel at Loveland Pass had not been built yet, making it more challenging to cross the mountains. Additionally, the city of Vail, CO had not yet been established, although there was a highway passing through the Vail valley, there was no sign of civilization there.

Construction of the town of Vail commenced after a two-year delay. Due to the frequent relocations our family went through, job changes were quite common. During that era, job applications typically required listing all the residences and workplaces for the previous decade. (At that time, it was still uncommon for individuals in this nation to move as frequently as they currently do.) To provide such extensive information, my mother maintained a continual record of the addresses of our past dwellings.

Compiling my own list based on my mother’s, I included the times I was hospitalized as separate addresses for myself. In total, there had been at least 30 different addresses before I got married! Surprisingly, I can remember many of these residences. It’s strange how I can recall the houses but not the neighbors or friends. However, there is one small incident in twelfth grade that stands out in my memory vividly. One morning, while getting ready for school, I wanted to wear a specific necklace but couldn’t find it. I searched everywhere, growing increasingly frustrated to the point of tears.

I decided that it was hopeless for that day, so I prayed and asked God to help me find it later. While gathering my books for school, I impulsively lifted the couch cushions a second time and miraculously found the necklace! Even though I had previously checked there with no success, it seemed like God had guided me in finding it after I had prayed. It had become my habit to talk to God frequently about small things as they happen. Often, answers don’t come, and most of the time there is no response. However, on that day, it became clear to me once again that God is listening to me and is genuinely interested in every aspect of my life.

Despite my frustrations, disappointments, and short temper, He doesn’t hold it against me. Throughout the years, I’ve realized from Scripture that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has made me fully accepted by God. That day, I learned a practical lesson about how God is close to me even in the smallest details of daily life. His unwavering love encourages me to reciprocate that love towards Him. Since God wasn’t a topic of discussion in my household, I had to independently learn about Him through church and Youth For Christ.

Throughout the years, as I developed a deeper understanding of God’s Word and its application in life, I realized that certain concepts in my thinking needed correction and adjustment. It is an exciting journey of spiritual growth. These reflections are shared in “Ocean Depths” on Page 33, specifically in Chapter 3. In November 1960, during my final year of high school, my parents went through their second separation. As a result, my mother, my brothers, and I moved into a small apartment in Glendale, conveniently located near my school. However, our stay there was short-lived, lasting only about a month. During this time, my father frequently visited us and sometimes even stayed overnight. By the time Christmas came around, my parents had made the decision to reconcile and live together once again.

Although I was okay with it, they also decided that they needed to relocate to Washington State. This was because my dad was unemployed and the Navy Yard in Bremerton, WA was offering jobs. However, since I was in my final year of high school, I adamantly opposed the idea of moving back to Washington State. It was a shocking and upsetting revelation for me. I detested the thought and argued with my parents in protest. I outright refused to go with them. My mother was horrified and

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