I’m the baby in this picture, the first in my generation to be born into this family. My dad is holding me and standing next to my mother. You can see my grandparents, my many aunts, and my Uncle Philip, who was just a few years older than I was. And this is only one part of the family we left when we moved from Grantsville, Maryland, to Flint Michigan. The Benders—my mother’s family—was even larger, more than 70 people . . . and growing.
When this picture was taken, none of us knew my parents and I and my coming brothers and sisters would move away from the mountains, away from a Mennonite community, and away the country to live in the city of Flint, Michigan.