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The Families We Make: 2013 Hub Reading Challenge check in #18

8 Jun

This afternoon I’m taking Leroy to the vet to update his shots and get a microchip. We do that for all our dogs.

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Leroy has been on a home stay with John, who will soon sign the papers to officially adopt him. John is 79 and has been adopted by his neighbors who keep an eye on him. In fact, it was because of them that he ended up with Leroy, who, at 10, is also a senior gentleman.

A lot of  YA distopian fiction involves characters, separated from their families, creating new “families” of those they meet along the way. I just started  After the Snow by S. D. Crockett, set in a snow covered world after the oceans stop working.


It tells the story of Willo, who was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family.But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone — he doesn’t have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl — but Willo just can’t do it. And so, they become a sort of family, relying on each other.

All this has me thinking about my friend, Alemash Ambaye, who died December 16th, 2010 at the age of  78.


Her life was distopian. Her husband, a general in the Ethiopian army, was executed and she spent 7 years in an Ethiopian prison. For those 7 years she had no idea where most of her children were. One daughter was in college in the United States but the whereabouts of the other 6 were unknown.  Once released, she eventually found them through the Red Cross and most came to the United States. In spite of these years of hardship she was gentle and kind. She rarely spoke of her experiences, but when she did she always mentioned how her faith kept her strong. We became acquainted because she needed a ride to church. Over time we became friends and she often referred to me as her other daughter. I think she worried about me because I was a single woman and would sometime send me home with injera and her excellent chicken stew (doro wat). I sometimes think I’d like to write a book about her. And I might do so someday.

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