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by Abigail Van Buren

To Eat Your Cake and Have It Too Is a Pretty Good Trick

DEAR ABBY: In response to "About to Burst," regarding the secret of a child being given up for adoption:

When I was a teen-ager, I overheard my mother say, "I should tell the girls -- they always wanted a brother."

But when I confronted her, she denied ever having made that statement. Later, she said the story would be in her history to be read after her death.

She died last year at the age of 100, very alert until her death, still denying ever having made the "brother" statement. In her history, there is no reference to it.

In her Bible, we found a folded, yellowed clipping about a sailor who had died in Canada in World War I. The clipping was very worn. Her secret went with her. I, too, would like to have known another sibling.

When the World War I song "My Buddy" came on the radio, my mother always turned it off and cried.

I'm still yearning to know, but never will. -- A DAUGHTER, SPARKS, NEV.