Iopen our door to a stranger. Soon she's coursing with grim determination through our home, describing her foster childhood: a dozen random kids, tiny partitioned spaces, two kids per bed, chores. Rarely would the old lady let you watch that new black-and-white TV, and always her program.

Panting, she's up to the attic. Finding the roof hatch, she pauses, perhaps remembering childhood escapes, but doesn't say. She leaves quietly, distraught.

My daughter just returned from college for a comfortable and easy summer at home. Another girl left with memories that kept her away for 55 years.

Peter Feiden

Takoma Park

He'd never been very far from his Anacostia home, let alone to an overnight camp, where I was a volunteer. This camp was for children who had lost a family member to homicide. I did my best to both comfort and counsel him. Yet the most poignant moment we shared was when we parted at the bus drop-off location: the Hyatt Regency's sun-filled, 10-story open atrium lobby. Softly he said, "This is what Heaven must look like." To me, it was just my daily shortcut between my office and the Metro. It has never looked the same to me since.

Barbara Reck

Washington

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