Journey's blog

Is There a God?

In a world surrounded with wars, government and schools taking God's name out of documents and speeches, violent crimes, empty churches, respect for marriages fading, babies out of wedlock, abortions, miracles being pushed aside by science, over-whelming death rate from alcohol and drug addiction, families with separations, we have to come to the realization that we are all being tested. 

For those who still believe in miracles, daily apparitions since 1981 and up to today with six visionaries in Medjugorje in Bosnia, faith is easy to hold onto with devoted confidence in God.

I wrote A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje, not only for the believers but more strongly for the unbelievers or for the person who has lost their faith and the path to God and The Blessed Mother. The description of this memoir is told beautifully by a review from Wilson.

If you want a book to refresh your faith in people, family and getting back to prayer and staying tight to the truth of a merciful and loving God, this is your book.   

 

Wilson R. reviewed A Spiritual Renewal

When I first began reading A Spiritual Renewal, I had to stop after the first few chapters and put the book aside. Was there a problem with the writing or the content? No, on the contrary; the writing was so well done, the description so vivid that I was taken back to my mother's passing from cancer a few months previous. Sequeira has a wonderful talent for making the reader feel like they are right there in the scene...it was just too soon for me to be that close to so much sadness.

I returned to the book and found I couldn't stop reading. Sequeira introduces her family, the entire Gramm clan. Chapters focus on the relationship with her father, Brigadier General, Albert Gramm Sr. as she realizes she doesn't know him as well as she would like. He was a quiet man who kept his emotions to himself, making it difficult for her to get close to him. Albert Gramm was the patriarch of the family; he took care of his wife, children, and watched out for the neighborhood as well. He was greatly admired by the men who served with him in WWII with the 26th Yankee Division. He had great faith in God and he believed in miracles.

Watching Mr. Gramm become weaker as cancer destroyed his body was traumatic for the entire family. Alberta remained with her father, talking to him, massaging his muscles and giving him his pain meds for two weeks. Again, I felt like I was right there as Mr. Gramm fought to hold onto life as his grown children struggled to accept the fact that he was dying. Through it all, Mr. Gramm's faith was unshakable and he truly believed a miracle would occur and he would survive. Gramm's religious conviction was a great help to Alberta as she gradually accepted his passing and began to find her way back to prayer and her own neglected faith.

The memory of a family conversation about a village in Bosnia called Medjugorje would not leave Alberta. The obscure village a world away was said to be where six visionaries had daily visits from Our Lady. Alberta collects all the information about the apparitions and the village from local bookstores and dreams of visiting. Traveling to Medjugorje seemed impossible as she had a paralyzing fear of flying, a nagging heart problem, and other health issues. With help from a new friend, Alberta finally gains the courage to plan the trip. The problems would slow her progress but could not stop the fact that she felt that Our Lady had "called" her to Medjugorje.

The visit to Medjugorje can be called a spiritual awakening. Medjugorje is a place where believers need not make apologies for their love of God, for their need to have Jesus in their heart, and for praying. Alberta for so long has left prayer out of her busy life. In Medjugorje there is nothing to distract one from Jesus and His mother's teachings. Alberta meets four of the six visionaries, is present for two apparitions and makes a triumphant hike to the top of Cross Mountain in the middle of a frightening heart fibrillation.

Non-believers might find the book a bit preachy. For believers, especially those who have strayed from their faith, this book could be the key needed to open a door to a journey back to God. In a world that is learning how not to believe, disillusioned by church scandals, distracted by TV, the Internet, and a busy lifestyle, A Spiritual Renewal could be just what is needed to get those from all spiritual viewpoints back on track. Highly Recommended.

Amazon in paperback and Kindle: Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira

How to Survive the Holidays on the Start

Don’t think of Thanksgiving as not being a so-call holiday like Christmas and New Years without any fear of over-drinking. Any event with groups of friends or family gatherings is dangerous to an alcoholic. These events are your big tests. Some addicts make themselves stay away from the temptation to survive the day.

Try going to an AA meeting or spend the day with a group of substance abusers who are also trying to stay sober. Start your own Thanksgiving parties with the ones serious about sobriety and have everyone bring the meal or snacks? Don’t find excuses or believe you can handle being around the drinks being passed out and will have no problem avoiding taking that first one. Why put yourself in that danger?

Find Strength: Spend the morning in church praying for God to help you get through the day. Get upfront without any embarrassment with the people that you can not have one drink and would appreciate them respecting your wish. You don’t want to hear, “Oh, one won’t hurt you!” Demand they don’t offer any to you. If the drinking is too much for you, leave.

There is no reason to spend the day alone. That only adds to the depression and will add to the excuse to get a drink. Remember, you're goal is to head for sobriety and not death behind a wheel from drinking or causing someone else’s. Go to a movie. Go anywhere but near that drink.

Purchase All books at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira

You Can Survive Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Does sobriety seem too far away? Does it seem like something that is completely out of your reach? That is because you have not chosen from the heart and complete determination to end the nightmare of drinking in your life. You need to look at your patterns on where you go and with whom. You need to educate your minds with which path to start going down and leave your past pain and struggles in the dust.

You need to get back to the person you were before your drinking. Get your confidence back that you “deserve” to get well. Learn to push stubbiness aside and pull in the professionals to help. If you don’t like or feel comfortable with the one trying to help you, find another doctor or counselor. This is your life and mind that needs repair. Don’t waste it on a professional who is not helping you. Also, be honest and ask yourself, “Is he/she not helping me or am I not helping myself? Am a holding back from change? Am I ignoring and fighting what they are asking from me?"

Only you can get honest with yourself. You got yourself in this situation, now you have to get yourself out alone. Don’t blame others and use excuses on their demands and pressure as your reason for not getting sober. No one makes you pick up that drink but yourself.

There is nothing wrong with weakness with this disease. The demons have taken too many addicts from this earth. Now it’s time to crush them. 

Come Meet Alberta Sequeira

For those of you who live in the area of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, I will be selling and autographing my books Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 10am-4pm. I will be attending the St. Margaret Regional School-Craft Fair at 143 Main Street in Buzzards Bay, MA.

This is a good time to throw a book as an extra personal gift into someone's Christmas present. It will give them days to relax and get absorbed into someone's journey. My memoir A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje will bring life back into the person who has lost their faith. It's also a book for veterans and any man who will enjoy a story about Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm during WWII having fought in some of the battles like Lorraine, Metz and The Battle of the Bulge. He was one of the Commanding Officers of the 26th Yankee Division.

Someone Stop this Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis is a story that goes behind closed doors to learn the facts how a family struggles with alcoholism. Read how a gentle, loving husband and father, turned into someone who became abusive from his alcohol addiction. Feel the pain of loss when he dies at forty-five years of age from his young years of drinking. Alberta is frank in this book about enabling.

Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism is the sequel, although it can stand alone, follows Ms. Sequeira's daughter, Lori Cahill, after her father dies, who battles her own addiction entering the Gosnold Rehabilitation Center twice in Falmouth, Massachusetts and once at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Read the reality of a parent watching the same demon return for her daughter after taking her husband.

These two books are more about lessons with handling addiction more than memoirs. They could have been titled What Not to Do! In the sequel, Alberta's talks in private to patients at halfway home, court-ordered programs and substance abuse rehabilitation are added. Lori passed on November 22, 2006, at thirty-nine years of age. She was put to rest with her father at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts.

In September of 2103, she self-published What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words. It is written by 34 alcoholics and drug addicts from all walks of life from the United States and Canada. Ms. Sequeira calls this the conclusion to her other two books about her family fighting addiction. She wanted to hear directly from the substance abusers why some overcome their addictions while others die from the disease and what can family, doctors, counselors and society do to help them. This is a book Alberta would love to see in schools.

These contributors tell their private struggle with how they fought the battle of addiction to come out winning and tells why they believe the recovery programs are not working. This is a good book to present to the family member who does not want to talk about their alcohol or drug habit. Let the contributors do the work. What is more unique than a substance abuser helping another? They also give advice to family members on how they can help them develop the desire to get professional help.

I would love to meet my followers. You are the ones who make authors find joy with our writing, whether through our stories or experiences in life..

For those who can't attend, my books are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeiraAlberta

Hope to see you there.

Alberta 

Remember our Veterans

My Husband, Al, and I went to a Veteran’s dinner this week, and I heard a poem that actually brought me to tears. It may be long, but I have to share this. Read it slowly and take in the words.

I Am a Veteran
by Andrea C. Brett

You may not know me the first time we meet
I’m just another you see on the street
But I am the reason you walk and breathe free
I am the reason for your liberty

I am a Veteran

I work in the local factory all day
I own the restaurant just down the way
I sell you insurance, I start your IV
I’ve got the best-looking grandkids you’ll ever see

I’m your grocer, your banker
Your child’s schoolteacher
I’m your plumber, your barber
Your family’s preacher
But there’s a part of me you don’t know very well
Just listen a moment, I’ve a story to tell
I am a Veteran

I joined the service while still in my teens
I traded my prom dress for camouflage greens
I’m the first in my family to do something like this
I followed my father, like he followed his

Defying my fears and hiding my doubt
I married my sweetheart before I shipped out
I missed Christmas, then Easter, the birth of my son
But I knew I was doing what had to be done

I served on the battlefront, I served on the base
I bound up the wounded, and begged for God’s grace
I gave orders to fire, I followed commands
I marched into conflict in far distant lands

In the jungle, the desert, on mountains and shores
In bunkers, in tents, on dank earthen floors
While I fought on the ground, in the air, on the sea
My family and friends were home praying for me

For the land of the free and the home of the brave
I faced my demons in foxholes and caves
Then one dreaded day, without drummer or fife
I lost an arm, my buddy lost his life

I came home and moved on, but forever was changed
The perils of war in my memory remained
I don’t really say much, I don’t feel like I can
But I left home a child, and came home a man

There are thousands like me, thousands more who are gone
But their legacy lives as time marches on
White crosses in rows, and names carved in queue
Remind us of what these brave souls had to do

I’m part of a fellowship, a strong mighty band
Of each man and each woman who has served this great land
And when Old Glory waves, I stand proud, I stand tall
I helped keep her flying over you, over all

I am a Veteran

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Dad, for your years during WWII. Fighting in battles like Lorraine, Metz and the Battle of the Bulge. Being one of the commanding officers for the 26th Yankee Division and making multiple choices over and over, not being able to save all your men.

I took those years you fought and pushed them aside, not asking you how you survived when you were alive. As the years past, and we hear of the horrible wars off shore that take our family members, I realize how important it is to remember.

by Alberta Sequeira

 

Read about Alberta Sequeira's father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, in A Spiritual Renewal in Amazon. Key in her name and her books will come up.

A "Free" Writer's Workshop

Authors Without Borders
“WRITING, PUBLISHING, and MARKETING”
www.awb6.com

Awb Cable Round Table
Sponsored by UMass/Dartmouth’s Second Half Lifelong Learning Institute, four award-winning regional authors will hold a free workshop on “The ABCs of Writing, Publishing, and Marketing” on Thursday, November 13th, 1-4 pm, at the Southworth Library in Dartmouth (732 Dartmouth St.)

Authors Without Borders (AWB) has presented programs at various venues, both academic and nonacademic, and also hosts the New Bedford cable t.v. show, “Authors Without Borders Presents,” now in its fourth year. Members of AWB include: Pat Perry (Fairhaven), author of a fantasy trilogy as well as a comedic novella; Willie Pleasants (Boston), poet and actor, who hosts her own t.v. show on Boston Neighborhood Network; Alberta Sequeira (Rochester), speaker and instructor, who has authored several memoirs as well as an edited volume on alcoholism and substance abuse; and Joyce Keller Walsh (Lakeville), mystery writer and playwright, whose film-script of her first book has just been optioned for a feature movie. To learn more about the members, visit the website: www.awb6.com.

The group will share their knowledge of the process and pitfalls of writing, publishing, and marketing in the current environment, and discuss with participants their individual questions and concerns about their own projects.

To sign-up for the free program, please e-mail Beverly Stevens, Director of the Second Half Lifelong Learning Institute, by Monday, Nov. 4th at: [email protected] ; or you may telephone the office at 508-677-4694.

 

Pat Perry/Fantasy & Comic NovellaWillie Pleasants

Willie Pleasants/ Poetry & Short Stories

Alberta Sequeira/Memoirs & Alcohol Abuse Speaking Engagements

Joyce Keller Walsh/ Mysteries & Playwriting

A Hard Sell

Selling anything is really hard work for sales people. I went to the Lakeville Art's Festival, and I swear that date brings rain. It's a small event in town, but everyone likes a sunny day to spend time walking their dogs and looking at the crafts. The sun was nowhere to be seen bringing a day of clouds and dampness. You know, that cold raw feeling in the air. Selling books at crafts shows is a tough business. Selling books on alcohol abuse is even harder.

So many people say the topic is too close to home, or it brings back bad memories. As for the alcoholics and drug users, I believe my new book, What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is starting to move. Here is a book that helps take the pressure off the non-drinker trying to help their loved one, gets the message out to doctors, counselors and society on what they believe has to change to help them. How?

For the Family:

Let the 34 alcoholic and drug contributors of the book do the work for you. That is why they are telling the world their lives with addiction to help others. All of us for some unknown reason hate getting advice from family members, yet we listen to strangers. I gave a talk a few weeks ago at the UMass University in Boston, Massachusetts, and two women were frustrated trying to help the alcoholic.

I told them to buy the book, read it, and once they were done, bring it to the home of the person they are trying to help and put it on their table, and just say, "I read this and thought you would find it interesting. Give it back when you are done," and walk away. No more talk on it. Sooner or later, I'm sure the alcoholic will want to read what the others have to say fighting their same battle.

They also tell family members what they believe we should do to help them during their recovery. What are we doing wrong? What do they need from us? The number one thing they say we do wrong is with our innocent enabling which only brings them deeper into their addiction. They answer 23 questions that I was left with when Richie and Lori died from their addiction. I need the answers from no one better than the addicted themselves.

For the Addicted:

What can be more powerful than one addict helping another. It's unique! Who understands you more than someone with the same struggles trying to recover? With 34 short stories, there has to be one person you can relate to and say, "That me" or "That's our family." They are honest telling you how they started, why, who in the family in the past was an alcohol or died from it, what made them get the strength to fight the battle and come out winning. 

Learn that you are not alone, have anything to be ashamed of, fear comes from thinking of taking the steps, but they diminish when you start going forward toward your goal, and how to develop the desire and strength to recover.

Go to Amazon and buy the book in paperback or Kindle. This link will bring you to all my books or just key in my name Alberta Sequeira:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira

Warning: Babesiosis/A Tick Born Illness

 

This is going to be an odd post from me. My writings are mostly on substance abuse issues, but I feel it it extremely important to bring notice to Babesiosis that is going around without doctors educating the people of this illness. I have been out of commission and suffered for six weeks with this horrible tick illness. This is worse than Lyme Disease.

Description

Babesiosis is an infection caused by a malaria-like parasite, also called a “piroplasm,” that infects red blood cells. Babesia microti is believed to be the most common piroplasm infecting humans, but scientists have identified over twenty piroplasms carried by ticks. Ticks may carry only Babesia or they may be infected with both Babesia and Lyme spirochetes. People can also get babesiosis from a contaminated blood transfusion.

The first case of babesiosis was reported from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in 1969. Since the late1980’s, the disease has spread from the islands off the New England coast to the mainland. Cases have also been reported all across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Symptoms

Symptoms of babesiosis are similar to those of Lyme disease but it more often starts with a high fever and chills. As the infection progresses, patients may develop fatigue, headache, drenching sweats, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. Babesiosis is often so mild it is not noticed but can be life-threatening to people with no spleen, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. Complications include very low blood pressure, liver problems, severe hemolytic anemia (a breakdown of red blood cells), and kidney failure.

My onset with this illness started in June of this summer when I discovered a “tiny” tick on my upper thigh while showering. I thought it was a piece of lint left from my slacks when I undressed, until I saw a movement from the tick.

It took my husband a long time getting it off with tweezers and putting the whole tick into a baggie in the freezer. The next day, we brought the tick to the doctor who sent it to a lab. I was then sent for a blood test for Lyme disease. The lab goofed and found what kind of tick (deer) but didn’t test for Lyme. The doctor instantly put me on doxycycline for two weeks because these ticks carry Lyme. The test came back negative, so I just carried on with my life as usual.

In August, I noticed I was doing a lot of sleeping on the couch each day and found I had a hard time waking up. I felt drugged. If we went shopping in the morning or other activities, when we came home, I felt weak and had to lay down. After two weeks, I knew this was not normal and called for an appointment. 

The doctors did an EKG on me to see if my heart wasn’t having problems. I am a heart patient with a pacemaker and a diabetic. Everything seemed fine.

Then I got chills, a low-grade fever, body aches, the sweats had me keeping a towel by my bedside to wipe myself, no energy, sleeping during the day, neck soreness, and nausea 24/7 for over two weeks.
Within a week, I developed a huge rash on the back of my waist that was itchy and then turned to pain.

There was no bulls-eye in the center. I had to go through a different blood test which showed Babesiosis. The doctor said lucky this was found because it breaks down the red blood cells and can cause kidney failure. I was then sent for another type of blood test for the red blood cells and kidneys. 

I was immediately put on 1-600 mg of Azithromycin to start and 9 days of 500 mg, on top of Atovaquone 750/5mil, 1 tsp twice a day for 10 days. This medicine cost $700 unless you are lucky like I was, to have the secondary insurance pick some up. It cost me $145. 

Why did I have a negative report in June? I was told that the test was done too soon to show up and that the second round of medicines were the only ones that cure this disease. I am starting to feel myself after four months. 

If anyone is suffering from these symptoms, get a blood test for an unnoticed tick bite. This is a form of Malaria and will keep returning if it is not treated. Your kidneys can also shutdown. After a week of treatment, on my request, I had a blood test again on my kidneys and red blood cells to make sure they were clear because I was still sweating at night.

When I repeat my A1C test in December, I will request the same blood test along with my blood count to confirm no damage has been caused. 

Two doctors told my husband and I that there are more cases of Babesiosis going around than people realize. I also received a call from the Board of Health, needing to report my treatment and medicine that I was taking.

If you have been suffering with these symptoms, do not take them lightly. After three years, one family member had no idea why he was sick with joint pain, headaches, and sweats and learned through tests that he had had Babesiosis way back then. This disease had a long length of time to progress and attacked his body with symptoms that will keep coming back on him as Malaria would show. 

Don't Lose Your Goal

How easy it is to start out gun-ho to go on the road to recovery and then wake up one day and feel your confidence has disappeared. Panic sets and you don’t want to continue. It’s only fear. It’s a distraction you can pass by taking a break. Go for a ride to the beach and unwind, visit family who support you or call a friend from AA who has accomplished overcoming this stage you are in that day. They have all been there.

Don’t go to your regular hangouts, drinking friend or any environment that helped you get into this habit of drinking or getting your drugs. Anyone trying to change the course of their lives runs into roadblocks. It’s what you do about them that counts. How serious are you with wanting recovery? This is only a test. Getting to where you want to be is not easy with any change. Habits are hard to break, and they make you comfortable because you are familiar with that life, even though it’s bad. You have to look at what life you are heading toward, and realize that if you return to your bad actions, life will no longer exist; you will be looking at death.

There can’t be a better feeling of accomplishment for an addict than getting to sobriety. It won’t be easy to get there or stay there. But you can do it. Just read my Narrative Non-Fiction What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict to see how thirty-four addicts recovered. What helped them? You will appreciate the gift because you persevered with every ounce of strength in your body to reach it. Something good is worth fighting for if it gets you healthy in mind and body again.

Don’t mistake your lack of knowledge as lack of ability. Lack of knowledge in not keeping in touch with professionals and the addicts who became sober. Without these, you are apt to quit. Don’t take the easy road to fall again and give up on trying. Everything in life that is good for us comes from keeping that mind clear to get where you want to go.

One problem is feeling you have to get sober fast. You won’t. It took you years to become an alcoholic and it will take time to give it up for good. You have to do the work. Family can only love and support you. When you feel weak to continue on, think back to the deep desire within you that developed to reach your goal. Fight for it again.

Life has a way of working itself forward. We can’t change what we did years ago or yesterday. That’s how life goes forward. It is us that makes the choice to go backwards. Losing your confidence is normal; realize this so don’t get torn apart with this process. Mental work can become exhausting. Buy a good book and relax the mind for a few days or weeks. Everyone needs a break trying to finish a task, because we work so long and hard getting there.

Having stress in life from jobs, raising a family, meeting bills, losing a loved one, breaking up with your lover, problems at school, family fights, or other personal problems, can be an easy excuse for an alcoholic to fall back. Lets face it; alcoholics love excuses to give them a reason to go out and drink. It is not easy either knowing all your drinking friends are gathering together and having what you think is fun. They are only digging a hole faster with their lifestyle. Get honest, out of denial, and tell yourself that you are better off without them or the drinking. Until you reach the point of believing this with your whole heart and mind, you won’t make it.

Become familiar with all your feelings that pull you toward going back to your habit and step through the fear. Start a journal to see how it just keeps repeating itself. Take time to pray to God and ask for His help. Doing this will never have you alone with decisions.

Forgive to Move to Recovery

Forgiving may not seem like an action that is that important to heal and recover from alcohol abuse, but it is. The first person to forgive is yourself. You made the choice to go down the path of addiction with friends, maybe from an emotional or physical event from the past that devastated you, loneliness, hurt, abuse on you, bullying, or whatever reason. We all make mistakes in life. Someone physically hurting us or giving emotional abuse, can mold us into what we become in adulthood.

As a young child, you can't defend yourself. You depended on the other sober parent to protect you and a lot of times that person fails you. I failed my two daughters by not getting them out of that unhealthy environment. Lori became an alcoholic and died like her father. Debbie was effected more emotionally than she knew as time went on in her adult life. Everyone is effected by the drinker. Innocently, the parent becomes a great enabler bringing the alcoholic deeper into their addiction. They live in denial the same as the drinker thinking the problem will go away. So what happens, it's a merry-go-round of sick lives living behind closed doors to silent abuse.

It is not easy to forgive the person who hurts you. If you don't, you live the rest of your life in anger, hurt, resentment, and turn to alcohol or drugs to drown your past. You slowly become the person you were upset with in the first place. This action of over-drinking needs professional help.

We all never forget our past, but it's what we do with the rest of our lives that counts. You can stay stuck feeling sorry for yourselves and hate the person who made your life so awful or forgive them and move on to become better than them. Why give up happiness? Why let the past rip us up inside? They either don't know you are upset with them, or do and don't care. Someday you will look in the mirror and see yourself at sixty years old still drinking because you didn't want to get on with life. You make your changes.

Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. You don't have to associate with that person and forgiving doesn't mean they were right. It means you are going to go down the healthy path and have a good life for you, a future mate and children. Ending the abuse, starts with you. Don't use your hurts as excuses to drink. Alcoholics look for any excuse to drink so you can feel they are reasons for our actions.

We suffer because we keep thinking back to our pain and we repeat and repeat our past to anyone who will listen. What you are trying to do is show how right you are and how wrong someone else was. You're trying to control the situation. Let it go and put it in God's hands. You can't move on until you let go of the past. You can't return to it and change anything that happened to you. What you are missing is not bringing appreciating the good within you. You hold the key to the way of recovery.

 

Feel alone and weak? Purchase What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict in Amazon. It's written by 34 substance abusers. Who can understand you more than another addict? Learn what helped them. Key in Alberta Sequeira name at www.amazon.com and all her books will come up.

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