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kristina38

Where do I go from here?

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Hi all, This is hard for me to write but I feel I need to...My beautiful Mother who I have been caregiver to for 16 months passed away Saturday, October 21 2006. Her stroke didn't kill her but it was complications after a surgery that were stroke related that did (internal bleeding from heparin to thin her blood back out), which then caused her to contract sepsis and pneumonia. Words cannot describe my pain at this time, the great feeling of loss and uselessness at times is overwhelming. Orlando was home with me for the weekend and is taking off Tuesday for the funeral as well but now he is at work and I'm left with just me and my agony. I walk through the house breathing in the scent of her, trying to hold onto some shred of her and desperately trying to remember every little detail that was "her"...I know it will get better with time but right now I don't want to be better I want to be whole again and without Mom I just don't know if I can. She was my heart and soul and stood for everything good in this world to me. Now there is just a dark chill and emptiness where she was. How does one adapt from caregiver 24/7 to NOTHING? I wake up and there is nothing that "needs" doing, nothing that matters and really no reason to even get up to begin with. I know I have alot to do dealing with the estate and I have my fingers crossed that the Mortgage insurance will pay off the house but to be honest I don't even care. The only reason I care about the house is that it was in every way "hers". She redecorated a year or so before the stroke and there are many of her personal touches from paint to borders devoted to love and family. My Aunt (her sister) asked me yesterday if I would keep the house and live in it or if it would be too painful to be reminded all the time of her. While it is painful it is also comforting to "feel" her here in this home. I honestly don't know what I'll do but for the time being I am going to stay here in her home with her memories. I wish I was stronger, more like her, maybe I'd know what to do now if I was but right now I feel like I'm treading water in quick sand. I don't even know who I should call first today. Lawyers, mortgage companies, social security? We don't have much money left after Mom's long illness and I have no idea how to go about this. I have her will but don't even know who I show it to or who to call and I feel like I'm drowning. I can barely speak the words to tell family members she is gone, how am I going to conduct business transactions like this? I break down every time I open my mouth to speak about it...

I've been a complete wreck since Friday night when it became clear she was leaving us soon. Orlando and I were with her when she passed, her nurse was a very sweet lady who like me is an only child who had lost both her parents. She even broke down when Mom died. I don't remember much after the other nurse pronounced her the next thing I remember vividly was the attending physician telling my fiance if I didn't calm down they would have to take me to the ER. This seemed to snap me out of it as I HATE that hospital with a passion and was not letting them touch me. Orlando told me I tried to crawl in the bed with Mom and then hyperventilated til I passed out. I don't remember much except I wanted to go "with" her and she left me here....Right now, I really wish she had taken me with her...

Kristina

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Kristina,

 

There is little any of us can do other than to tell you we care and have grown to love you as one of our own. If you can imagine, I received a cell phone call when I was on my way to the hospital to be with Bill, who had been admitted for congestive heart failure, telling me my mother had passed away in the night before in her apartment. Talk about closure....or lack there of.

 

Practically speaking, the funeral director should take care of Social Security for you (at least he did for me). Next, the mortgage company, life insurance company, banks, etc. will probably all want death certificates. If you have a lawyer who has been helping you, I would go ahead and call him or her.

 

Most importantly though, is for you to know and understand the wonderful way you have paid tribute to your mother by caring for her since her stroke. You have been her angel, and now she will be yours. I feel both my parents with me at various times - although at first the only thing I felt was alot of pain. Everything will feel strange for awhile, just as you've said. Believe me, I contemplate the feelings you are now experiencing and just don't want to go there. The blessing for me is that you have opened your heart to share with us about the journey.

 

You will always be a Caregiver, Kristina, and you still have much to share with us. I hope we can share comfort with you right now.

 

Lovingly,

 

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Kristina,

 

I just posted on your prayer thread so I won't repeat what I said there on this thread. But I wanted to add to what Ann said about the funeral director. He/she would be a one of your best resource to help you know what you need to do next. They will help you figure out how many death certificates you need to order, as they are the ones who do it for you. I grew to really appreciate and respect our funeral director and he was such a big help. The lawyer should be one of your first calls, too, when you are ready.

 

When my dad died I was really happy that his cottage on a lake stayed in the family. Even now after seven years and a bit of redecorating, it still brings back such good memories when I go there of Dad, Mom and growing up in the circle of their love.

 

You will get through this, Kristina!!! You are your mom's daughter and she taught you many life-lessons that you can draw on now. You say she was a strong woman, then you have that seed in you, too. It will grow when your grief is not so fresh.

 

:friends: Jean

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Kristina, you have been such a fine daughter and a strong one too and I am sure that will continue. Right now you are really hurting but soon you will think as you cannot now and then you will be glad you stuck out being a caregiver and did your best for your mom.

 

Here the funeral director would give you a little booklet with a long list of people you need to contact legally, and within what time frame etc. It is amazing who has to be notified. If they don't have one your Social Security office should. But you can grieve for a day or two first and then settle to do the practical things everyone needs to do.

 

If you can get some help from the family or friends with all the phone calls, contacts etc you have to make right now.

 

Hugs from Sue and Ray. :friends:

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Hi all, first I'd like to thank everyone for their replies, it's been a busy, sad couple of days as you might imagine. Our neighbor (a baptist minister) has agreed to speak at Mom's funeral. She did Dad's as well even though neither of my parents were Baptist lol...She's a very sweet lady and has always been very kind to my my Mom and Dad both and even my Uncle. She always brings meals to the house when we have a tragedy or even when Orlando and I went out of town she brought the hired caregiver a complete meal for Mom, Uncle and the caregiver. She brought us dinner yesterday which we've been eating for two days now because cooking is the last thing I feel like doing right now. She said her only hesitation about doing Mom's was she knew Mom so much better than she did my Dad and she is afraid she will break down and cry when speaking of her. Which reminds me I still need to write down the names of family and what I want her to mention in the eulogy. It seems like I have a list a mile long that'll never be finished.

 

I had some very bad news today, the mortgage is not insured so now I have to figure out how to make that payment and the equity loan (total of 900.00) both before the 1st of the month without my Dad's retirement money that comes on the 1st. We only have 1600 dollars left in savings (why I went back to work part time) and I've had to spend 400.00 already for the death certificates, flowers, obit, and consult with a probate lawyer. The lawyer informed that even though I am the sole heir and my Mom had a will I still have to go to probate so a judge can sign off on it. He said the going rate is 2,000 dollars LOL So now I have 85,000 dollars worth of mortgages to pay off, no income and he wants 2,000. I suppose it keeps me occupied being *beep* off instead of sad...He did say it is relatively simple for me to do myself without a lawyer because there is only the two mortgages and two cars, no other assets and no other liabilties and no siblings. I think I'll save the 2,000 and try to manage it on my own *sigh* as if I didn't have enough to worry about right now what's another stack of paperwork.

 

The only bright note for today was when I purchased our new truck this year in February I put it in Mom's name as the primary and had the foresight to add Credit Life on the car loan so the car should be paid off. I went to the bank today and informed them of Mom's death and they said they just needed a copy of the death certificate and they would email my claim to the insurance company. The house is also worth much more than is owed on it so I still have equity of about 50,000, I just don't know if I'll be able to keep it or have to sell. I really really don't want to sell it right now or maybe ever so this is my dilemma. The bank also informed with Mom and Dad both dead they of course want their equity loan balance paid in full LOL That's another 16,000. So in my immediate future I have to do the probate myself, get that paperwork then try to refinance the first mortgage for @70,000 is owed, plus the 16,000 equity loan. I remember once upon a time I used to file a 1040EZ every year, I'm thinking this won't be one of those. I have to laugh because I can't cry anymore...Oh yeah, and the kittens are 6 weeks old now and running wildly EVERYWHERE in the house, it's like something out of a nightmare here right now. Cats, kittens and paperwork strewn everywhere. In between my lawyer duties, burying my mother, dealing with my Uncle, applying for mortgages, ordering flowers, writing obits and eulogies I'm also cleaning three litter boxes a day and tending to a pride of animals....Again thank you all for your replies, your support right now might be all that keeps me sane, if in fact I still am...

Kristina

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Where do I go from here? Good post Kristina, you've been thru the storm to this point and survived. So, I know you will have the strength to continue the journey in memory of your mom and dad.

 

I'm glad you can laugh a little for now with all the legal stuff left for you to manage. No hurricanes in your area yet, one's due in Mexico Wednesday, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Take a breather, then one task at a time, you're still just one person, my thoughts are with you. I will PM you later with some information.

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Thanks Fred! I need the vote of confidence about now. It's strange how everyone grieves differently. I'm one of those people that really breaks down in the beginning almost to the point of physically not being able to function then I slowly pull back out of it over a period of days. I know I'm still going to cry but at least today I've kept it under control and only really lost it a couple of times in private. I'm getting better each day but it's gonna take awhile. I know I have to go on, it's what she would have wanted and Mom was one of those people who always put other's happiness above her own. I finally had Orlando get the wheelchair and Mom's clothes she wore to the hospital out of my truck. I've been driving around with them for almost a month now. I thought somehow in my desperate need for her to live that if I took the chair out of the truck it would be bad karma and she wouldn't come home *sigh* It's amazing the crazy thoughts we think when desperate for any kind of hope. The first coherent thought I had after she passed was "I have to call and tell Mom"...She was always the first one I told everything to...I'll be stronger than I ever was when this is over but right now I feel strangely fragile, something that is foreign to me. Tomorrow is the funeral so I'd better find something to wear (yeah, another thing I haven't gotten around to yet) and get some rest.

Kristina

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(((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

 

You will make it one day at a time.. I have lost both my parents .... and a son. I know the alone feeling after you have been taking care of someone. The routine is gone. Well now you will be busy getting things in order. paper work will etc. Check for some life insurace policies she may have tucked away and forgotten about.

 

Hoping you can keep the house if that is what you want.

 

You have been a wonderful daughter, I talk to my parents (in my head) all the time. You will have wonderful memories and reminders and she will be with you in your heart forever.

 

TaKe Care and you have my deepest sympathy. Bonnie

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Guest MelBaker

I am so sorry for your loss! You have done a great job of taking care of your mom - this is the hardest part, just afterward dealing with all the "attendant" junk that comes with dealingwith a loved one's death - my uncle died almost a month ago and my aunt is still dealing with some of the junk :crying: - but as she says - this too shall pass. Sounds like you've got a great friend in that pastor - if you need help or somewhere to turn - she sounds like she would be a great starting point - am glad she's there for you.

Sending Peace, well wishe. blessings, and prayers your way.... :console: :console: :console: :console:

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Well, Mom's funeral was yesterday and Daphne did an absolutely beautiful job of speaking. We made a pact that we would both be strong and not break down so she could make it through the service. We managed to make it until she finished speaking so we did very well.

Not many people came as not many people knew Mom but anyone she came in contact with loved her. Her surgeon/ wound care doctor was the first one to show up and I really thought he was going to cry! What a wonderful doctor he is and he so loved Mom and her spirit and fight, just that he made time in his very hectic schedule to come and pay his condolonces speaks volumes. No other health care professionals made it and there were many that knew Mom. I've made a promise to Mom that I'm going to move on and try very hard not to weep for her anymore. Her main goal in life was always MY happiness and for me to cry is not honoring her memory. I still have tears that threaten to fall but then I think of Mom and smile and remember that she loves me and will always love me. She's here with me always in my heart and soul and even in my blood and bones, I am her and she is me. My Mother and I were like twins. We have the same figure, facial features, we're both very muscular and strong, we have the same exact voice (people never could tell us apart on the phone, not even Dad), we even have the same large, strong hands. I look in the mirror now and see Mom...When either of us had aches or pains or medical problems the other would always already know because the corresponding body part would hurt on the other before we even told each other there was a problem. I suppose we were just so connected it seemed normal, and why her death was so devestating for me even when I should have been prepared for it. I'm still waiting for her to say goodbye, my family always sends a message to the survivors. Grampa gave me a clock when I was a kid, at the exact time and date he died, the clock stopped and never ran again. When Dad died the clock he bought for Mom did the same at his time of death. A wolf also came to Mom's yard three days after his funeral. So now I'm just waiting for Mom to let me know she made it to her destination...Last night we went by my work and the juke box wasn't being played but every half hour it chooses a random song to play to let people know there's a jukebox. The two songs it chose were old, very obscure songs that NOBODY plays and I didn't even know were on the jukebox but they were both favorites of MOM. It was very strange but soothing to my soul as well...It's becoming clear that Mom will continue to speak to me and that is comforting...

Kristina

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That was a nice tribute to your mom you just wrote. She would be proud that you've found some of her strenght---your strenght now.

 

I found the same sort of things after my dad died like your jukebox playing two of your mom's favorite songs. She will continue to speak to you, trust me, in many ways and each time it will be more and more comforting.

 

Jean

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Kristina

Im too am so sorry to read about your loss. You should feel proud of yourself forall you did for your mother. You were lucky to have had each other. Im sure you will find comfort in this site Use it! At times like this it is so important to talk to people who understand. Let it all out- thats why we are here.

Blessings!

Tina

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Kristina,

 

I am so sorry for your loss. Those were wonderful tributes you gave your Mom. I'm sure she and your Dad are sitting side by side in Heaven just smiling down at you. You hace been of great help to many of us here on this site too. Thank You for being You!!!

 

Take care and God Bless

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Thanks everyone for your kind replies. I'm able to function better now but I'm still in hermit mode. I've tried venturing out a couple of times but when I go out people immediately approach me to express their condolonces and it seems to reopen the wound every time. I know they mean well but the pitying looks only serve to remind me of how pitiful I feel...Has anyone ever noticed that people, after they first express their sympathy for you then proceed to avoid you like the plague? It's like you are wrapped in death or something and they are afraid it's catching. I understand the phenomena, I've felt the same discomfort around others when they were mouring but it still hurts...The worst is when people ask me how my Mom is doing that don't know she passed, then I have to explain she passed etc etc...

I've been managing to get some things done but still don't have death certificates (hopefully today) so most things I can't do yet. I still have a ray of hope that Mom's suit will move forward against the hospital for what happened in jan 05 after her stroke. I was told originally that the suit couldn't proceed if Mom died but the lawyer is deciding if he can go about it another way and get some compensation for the year of wound care that I had to do because of their *beep*-ups. The premis being had they not caused Mom so much extra harm her recovery would have been much faster and she would have made more gains allowing me to return to work...It's a long shot but if there is any justice in this world it should move forward. The whole system is so unfair, it needs to be fixed but how? They give completely incompetent care, give her mrsa, pneumonia, decubiti that were life threatening and send her home to me like that, I nurse her back to health and they get paid somewhere between a quarter and half million dollars and I'm out 40,000 dollars..Somehow that doesn't make sense to me or seem fair...Maybe I should go into politics LOL...Well, I must begin to clean my zoo, these kittens are getting big and as a result, the mess is getting bigger too!

Kristina

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*Update* Yesterday was the first day I made it through the whole day without crying. The tears threatened a few times but I managed to make it the whole day! Of course I then felt guilty for NOT crying...I can't seem to win LOL...I think part of the reason I'm getting better is I just don't have time. Because the mortgage wasn't insured I have to hurry up the probate process so I can refinance the mortgage, pay off my personal debts and basically start anew. I'm not back to work yet which is making the refinancing process more difficult but thankfully my boss is willing to vouch for my employment over the past two years and that I will be returning to work full time when finished with my executor duties. On an up note, I found out the house is actually worth more than I originally thought so I have over 100,000 in equity in it. So even though my credit is kind of sketchy as a result of being out of work for a year there are plenty of people that want to "help" me out with the refinancing because of all that equity.

I still think of Mom constantly and miss her desperately but I'm slowly moving forward and drawing on her strength to pull me through this. I know it will get easier with time so I'm just taking it one day at a time...

Kristina

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hi kristina, i am so sorry to hear about your loss, i too lost my mother last year and she was my rock and i was her baby girl, i still cry almost daily, i miss her terribly but what helps me get thru a day, is i talk to her daily. that might sound stupid, but it comforts me. i cant call and talk to her anymore so i just talk to her knowing she is my angel now and will watch over the rest of the family. and i like you am exactly like her, oh the power of genes, huh. sounds like you are progressing forward as you need to do, but it is not easy, i know.my thoughts are with you. this is the part of life, i hate the most, having to go thru losing a loved one, especially your parents.

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Thanks Kimmie, it seems to help to hear from others that have lost their parents...I actually went to her and Dad's grave site today to talk with her, I of course proceeded to cry like a baby again, so much for that whole day of not crying yesterday LOL. I've always been one to cry easily, I can cry watching the Kentucky Derby or other sporting events and I don't even know why I'm crying. I suppose we all think our Mother's will live forever and cling to that with the tenacity of a pitbull til the end. I'm still trying to sort out my feelings and guilt complexes, mostly I feel bad because Mom's death hit me so much harder than Dad's and growing up I was Daddy's little pumpkin pie but as I matured and reached womanhood Mom and I became closer and Dad was more out of the loop so to speak. Mom and I became even closer when Dad passed away four years ago. I have suffered so many losses in such a short time I think I'm in a state of shock. I never really got to grieve for my Dad after he died so possible I'm grieving for them both now which would explain my pathetic state most of the time LOL...I'm thinking of seeking some counseling but until I get through probate and get this refinancing done I have absolutely NO money at all. I have an appt with a lawyer again Thursday and hopefully he will accept payment AFTER probate as I already have the financing all lined up waiting for my signature, they are just waiting for my name to be put on the Deed. That will pay off all my personal debts, both mortgages and give me @20,000 in cash and the mortgage payment will be the about the same as it is now. My boss has been very helpful and she said she would vouch for my employment with the mortgage company and I am actually going to do a fill in tomorrow. It'll be my first day back in a few weeks. I hope I'm ready for it LOL

Kristina

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how strange...my Mom died on October 21st, 2001...I still miss her, still "talk" to her and eventually moved into her house (found myself apologizing to her for painting rooms bright colors LOL) I also cry sometimes, and wish that my "Mommy" were here, but she is, as you said, always with me, in my spirit, in my blood, and always in my heart...the mundane hassles of legalities will subside, your memories of her will help you through, and down the line, you will feel your spirits lift whenever you think of her...my thoughts are with you

 

Leslie

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Mel thanks for your post, I enjoyed reading the articles. I am also Wiccan, Happy late Samhain to you! I'm actually going to work today, one of my coworkers has asked me to fill in for her as they've been working the past two weeks without days off because of my Mom's illness/death, another coworkers Mother died last week and our bosses Mother is in hospice terminally ill. The other girl that does fill ins mother is also terminally ill so our company is having a rough time of it right now. Thanks again

Kristina

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Thanks June, and I am very thankful for the extra time we "stole" after her stroke. My fiance has told me several times that it was only through sheer will and love that she and I were able to get her past the stroke and have almost a year of near "normalcy", at least so far as normal can be attained after a massive cva with paralysis and aphasia involved. I'm so thankful that I got that second chance to not only tell her but show her how very much she meant to me. Although she could not speak well she could understand everything I said and she managed to get her points across via what speech she gained and other non verbal communications. In the end, she knew she was loved and she also knew that my fiance would care for me after she had gone. He had many conversations with her and promised her he would take care of me no matter what. She also gave him her blessing to marry me which was very important to me. I'll get through this horrible time and I will always have Mom with me, she's my angel now. Last night we were sitting in our bedroom (Mom's room pre-stroke) and we heard a loud bang from the master bath. I went in and a shaver had mysteriously been tossed on the floor from the window sill. Mom was a neat freak extraordinaire and the window sill had become a collection area for shavers, gels, creams, trimmers, mousse etc since Mom's death. I think she was telling us to straighten up her house. At any rate I immediately cleaned off the window sill LOL...

Kristina

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: This condolence thread has been closed with Kristina's blessing. She'll start new threads when needed for support and/or questions. MBA: JR

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Mottm, I have inherited my Uncle it seems. He's still here but he has been actually helpful these past couple weeks. I think now that there is NO question in his mind who is the head of this household he's going to stay on good behavior. He knows I'm on a hair trigger right now as well so he's been bustling about keeping things tidy and doing just about all the grocery shopping as well. He just had open heart surgery in September but has recovered just about completely. You know they say "only the good die young" and I'm beginning to believe it...

Kristina

 

Thanks June, I'm at peace with my decisions and the care that I gave Mom. Her surgeon/wound care physician came to the funeral and we had a long talk. He told me it was a miracle I healed her wounds and made her "whole" again after the stroke and he honestly never thought we would attain that goal. I remember back in December of last year he had told me we should amputate her foot but I refused and continued to work on the wounds to her achilles and told him she needed her foot as she would be walking on it again someday, and you know what? She did walk on that foot again, in May of this year she was walking 50 feet with assistance and walker! Mom and I beat all the odds and I'm ever thankful for that time we had to "do" lunch together (a weekly thing for the past 8 months) go shopping together etc. I wish we could have had more time but everyone wishes that, I'm just glad I was able to give her the best care humanly possible and she knew it and understood the depth of my love for her.

Kristina

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:( Sorry, for your loss as this MUST be painful -

There are several good things -

[1] First, in your mom's memory, you must go on, maybe do some volunteer work, but she would want you to be happy, put your party pants on and live as

 

[2] life is short, your mom is in no more pain, which is a good thing, so pray, and try to keep yourself busy doing goos things for your mom -

In time, your pain will lessen -

GOOD LUCK, GOD BLESS &

:chat: write , when you can -

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

June, from CT :cheer:

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Hi all, just a quick update. I'm stilling waiting for the title of the house to be transfered to my name so I can finish this refinancing. I'm hoping the second week in December. I've managed to get some things done but most everything is waiting on probate at this point. The credit life insurance company did pay off Mom and I's new Nissan Murano so at least one thing has gone right and been done quickly. I'm working more but still not back to full time which I will need to do soon.

 

I still miss Mom alot. Thanksgiving was sad without her especially since we had all her favorite foods like brandied sweet potatoes and her most favorite sage sausage stuffing LOL... I remember last year on Thanksgiving day we had a tragedy, my cat escaped the night before and I spent all night walking the neighborhood and woods searching for him. I slept for three hours, got up and searched more. Mom was so upset and sad for me she asked to get up and eat at the table with us when I finally managed to cook our "feast" in my bleary eyed state. It was the first time since she came home on June 29th that she came to the table and ate dinner! I had been spoon feeding her in her bed for the five months prior to that so it was a pretty big deal for us. She never ate another meal in bed after that until she was in the hospital again. We found our cat three days later safe and sound hiding in our woods. I still cry now and then when I think of her but I'm doing much better now. I know she's here with me in my heart and I feel her when I need her most...

Kristina

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Kristina

 

Thanks for the update. It sounds like you're doing as well as can be expected at this point in time. The first year's worth of holidays are always the hardest and filled with tears. With the second year's worth you can look forward to having all the good memories come back and replace the tears.

 

Brandied sweet potatoes sounds great! I've never had them.

 

Jean

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