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We were truly blessed growing up. Not only did my two brothers, sister and I have great parents; we had terrific aunts and uncles and cousins. We also lived relatively close together. Aunt Jane and Uncle Al and their four sons were less than three blocks away, while Aunt Catherine and Uncle Johnny and their two sons and daughter were less than a half-hour drive away.

We always celebrated Christmas together with our relatives, as well as birthdays. The same was also true for weddings when our generation was blessed with spouses. Not one, but two cousins and their wives have passed the 50th wedding anniversary. My brother Dave and his wife Holly are two years away from their 40th, with Phil and Helen approaching their 36th, JoAnn and me our 28th and Mary Jo and her husband, Holden, celebrated their 20th.

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