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  1. Warning: This contains language designed to at least elicit a bit of laughter. Please put beverages down while reading. My rock, my constant source of laughter and total joy... was gone. At that time, I was also under complete financial duress at the point of coming to grips with being too ill to work and the further slide down of the housing crisis. I had no money for a plane ticket and nobody was offering from the 'family'. Her death came as no great surprise as I knew from the previous year that my visit with her would be the last. She was indeed completely miserable in the hospice place with unfamiliar people and to her palate, "shitty institutional food". She had every right to say that because she was a phenomenal cook. While I wasn't given any choice in the matter where she resided, her sons with exception of one constantly complained about her. Sure. Thanks for putting her in a smelly box-like room with a curtain and a handful of drawers where the staff would rifle through and take anything of value. I know! I bought her this amazingly fun cashmere bright green lap blanket for a special occasion. Sticky fingers by 'nursing staff' is what happened to it. Not to mention the Aunt that walked off with ALL of her jewelry. I see now why she detested J. so much. But then again, J's mother was as 'cray cray' as could be. Psssst... it's the distant 'relative' by marriage people that never go in for professional help that I avoid! That makes my holidays I celebrate QUITE delightful without any excuse. "You m'lady are a wretched ass and I have to eat Valium to be around you for an hour." So I do not. That's how I gauge situations with certain people. Strangers are generally not at all a discomfort. Pretty much people know that those closest to us can indeed do the most damage. But not Gran. Oh my fun and second mother who took up the job after my Mom passed way, way too young. We danced. We could be silly. We could sing off key. She would quote Shakespeare in the kitchen and then I'd be expected to 'remember my lines' to keep whatever Act was going. It was never monetary. She was as practical as it got. If something didn't need replacing, it did not happen. After she passed, the one empathetic Uncle said, "what woman does not ever replace the carpeting, wall paper or furniture?" While not remarking about his now ex-wife's inability to keep a single career path... "It was good and perfect expensive carpeting when it was installed and shows no sign of wear. Not everybody follows design trends or keeping up with neighbors." Oh. Yeah, Depression-era kids who realized everything had value later on passing those critical values on to the offspring might have prevented the disposable society we have today. There were ZERO abuses in my maternal grandparent's home where I had the only safe space in my life. When she was gone... home went away forever. All I have left are photos, a few heirlooms and memories. But she would want me and you to smile and not cry. Out of all of her own personal tragedies with the death of several of her children, she always got back up. I hope if you are down, there are so many wonderful people here at AS to lift you back up!
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