I was born by a river, in a great big Catholic hospital: my mother gave birth to her eight children, never once saw a placenta throughout the whole process, decades of experience. My two grandfathers had powerful associations with another Winnipeg Hospital, Deer Lodge, the veteran's hospital. My mother's father worked there many years, as an orderly, and at the end of his life, he kept climbing out of his hospital bed to get back to work, a thing the hospital staff at the Vancouver hospital seemed to find more endearing than distressful. My father's father, a grieving widower and father of five, had his two youngest sons in the car when he died of a brain aneurysm, the car leaving the road and rolling to a halt on the lawn of Deer Lodge. The two families never cohered, unlike in regions of the world (including other Winnipeg families) where a marriage draws groups together and makes a larger, stronger whole.