Many years ago in a state far, far away, I married into an Irish-American family, acquiring a husband, two sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law, and a widowed mother-in-law. The man who would have been my father-in-law has died a dozen years earlier in a tragic workplace accident, leaving a wife and six kids, aged 1 through 15. Since he worked for the Department of Defense, his government benefits were able to keep the family in the home that he had built - literally - with his own hands.
My ex-husband was the eldest of the boys, and he helped his father work on the house every weekend. Moving his family from a rundown urban area to a lush green suburban town was a matter of extreme pride to this hardworking, self-made man, and he put a great deal of sweat equity into building a sturdy house for them. A house where some of them lived well into their adult years.
Among them was my brother-in-law. Let's call him "Jimmy"...
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