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“Listen to me, some mothers hate the idea of an empty nest. They don’t want to let go of their kids. Who wants to be alone? Does Mrs. Rotgerber look miserable to you – with her daughter home and attending to her every need? She doesn’t think that after 120 her daughter will be all alone.”

Leah sat transfixed; her eyes wide open as she listened to the ladies’ chatter. The words, “there are momma birds who don’t want the chicks to leave the nest” kept ringing in her ears.

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Six months and several dozen family therapy sessions later, Leah – with her mother’s blessing – became a kallah.

Her husband to be was a 30-year-old, balding, slightly stooped accountant with uneven teeth but a smile that lit up the room.

Years later, this good-hearted man took his ailing mother-in-law into his home and helped the wife he adored to care for her until the day Mrs. Bredin was reunited with her own beloved husband.

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