“My favorit-ia. For you, I’ll do anything and everything. I promise.”

At age five, the words didn’t strike me as anything special. It was another ordinary display of affection from yet another family member. It was sure to be discarded into the towering pile of countless I love you’s and cuddles. My attention lay unhindered and my eyes bore straight into the tiny Mickey Mouse gleaming on the screen. And then, something unexpected happened. The phrase was repeated. Not just once. Several times. I was forced to say goodbye to Mickey as I ventured into reality. My grandmother’s watchful eyes were glued to mine, waiting for a response. My pinky slowly detached from the remote and gently hooked itself onto hers. I promise.

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