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The trunk
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When I was the age of four, Mama’s uncle, a kind and successful man, died. The call came late one night that his life was ebbing away so Mama pulled me out of bed, smoothed my tousled red-tinted hair, and hauled me, still clad in pajamas, to sit vigil until her beloved uncle had crossed the river Jordan. We sat in the musty smelling living room of the Victorian house, its walls covered in ancient floral wallpaper while everyone talked in low, reverent tones.

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