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My father's family is the epitome of a blended family. The "blending" began around 1939, before the description "blended" became common. The "cliff notes" version of the blend: My father's parents had two children, my father and aunt. They were young when their mother died, and their father remarried; there was one son from that marriage. Later, their father died, and their stepmother remarried a widower with three sons.

All of this occurred long before my parents married. As youngsters, we all knew that we had a slew of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Not all of us knew that we weren't all "blood...


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