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Day 62: I'm getting old and I need something to rely on.

My encounter of infinite value today was when we ran into Melanie Himmelstohs, who was our next door neighbor when we lived in DC for the first 4 years of my life. Crossing the street to the parking garage at Columbia Plaza, Mama caught sight of Melanie and immediately hollered. Melanie, who is 84, recognized us right away!

When I told Melanie that I turn 18 tomorrow, we all marveled at how fast time flies. She went on to describe how she had spent her 18th birthday in Germany, where she grew up. It was during the war, and her hometown had just been conquered. Her celebration consisted of being allowed to wear her mother's Bulgarian shirt (fancily cross-stitched) over a hand-me-down skirt that was too big for her. There was nor cake nor card.

I celebrate tomorrow for the neighbor who spent her 18th birthday under attack.
I celebrate tomorrow for the friend who spent her 18th birthday at a detention center.
I celebrate tomorrow for the youth who spends his 18th birthday in court.

I celebrate tomorrow for anyone who was not where she wanted to be on her 18th birthday.

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