A dedication of sorts

To the memories of my parents, Armando A. Herrera Sr., and Jessie Granger Gonzalez—for nurturing my love of learning and inspiring me to write in the first place.

To the memory of my grandmother, Mae Granger, for her kindness, her endurance, and her love of beauty.

To the memory of my great-grandmother, Ella “Mo” Roach, who saw five generations enter this world—a matriarch, stubborn, pious, and unshakeable.

To my best friend in high school, Julio Enrique Delvalle, whom I miss to this day. Memory eternal.

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