When my sister Andrea got married, she asked to wear my mother's wedding dress. The day she tried it on for the first time I was sitting with Mother in the living room as Andrea descended the stairs. The gown was a perfect fit on her petite frame. Mother's eyes welled with tears. I put my arm around her.

"You're not losing a daughter," I reminded her in time-honored fashion. "You're gaining a son."

"Oh, forget about that!" she said with a sob. "I used to fit into that dress!"

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