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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-31-09 11:23 AM
Original message
Detroit area DU meet-up Friday, August 21
Edited on Fri Jul-31-09 11:24 AM by SharonRB
Please PM me if you're interested.

Location TBD, but probably in Royal Oak.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-31-09 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. We're in!
One obnoxious couple for sure!

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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-01-09 02:59 AM
Response to Original message
2.  will miss it by 2 days
...my week off starts the 21st ...driving from Californai)
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-01-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Crap...
Would be nice to meet you.

:hi:
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-01-09 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
3. Mark me as a tentative attendee.
I'm pretty sure I'll be free ... or at least cheap.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-01-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I might be able to convice Mrs.G to show up if YOU'RE there....
Tahiti!

She's coming up to drop off her son's friend
for school the week before that.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-01-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That'd sure light a fire under my lazy butt, too.
Edited on Sat Aug-01-09 08:41 PM by TahitiNut
I've been remiss for far, far too long in meeting Laura face-to-face and telling her how much I appreciate her ... even though a fat, dirty, old man like me might not be the foremost member of her fan club. My procrastination and reticence caused me to drop the ball -- a mistake I don't wish to repeat.


Now for the background ... and the bad news ... (I'll post this here rather than post a 'support thread' in GD or the Lounge)

As some might know (I'm not really a "tell all" type), I was compelled to move back from California back in February 2003 due to my stepfather's demise and my mother's health and care crisis. She was hospitalized back then and it became clear in the nursing home during her rehab that she wasn't going to be able to live by herself. Thus, my life which had been derailed became a train wreck ... and I jettisoned my employment search (and life and much household goods and furniture) and moved back here to Michigan to care for my mother. (Being a twice-divorced and not remarried guy without kids to worry about made it 'easier.') Thus, I've been her "assisted-living" caregiver for 6.5 years -- doing the housework, shopping, driving, laundry, home maintenance, medications management, and all-around therapist for her ... thankfully being able to maintain "modesty boundaries" (she was able to bathe and dress and toilet herself) that afforded her the dignity she needed. (It's been a challenge ... since I'm not at allwhat anyone would call a "mama's boy."))

Then, last year, she suffered two vertebral compression fractures (L2 and L4), the second during the holidays. Increasing pain and insufficiency of pain medications led to her second hospitalization in January. Two weeks followed by three weeks in rehab and she was home again. But it's been a slow decline. She'd been increasingly getting the 'osteoporosis stoop,' bent over her walker. Two months ago or so we found she'd gotten yet another vertebral compression fracture, higher on the spine around the level of a bra strap.

As we have attempted to deal with this, about four weeks or so ago, she again began coughing up mucous -- something that's been an occasional problem due to her COPD, but lower profile. This time however, the volume and persistence was far more severe. The episode began on a Tuesday evening at a restaurant ... was so serious that she was bed-ridden on the Wednesday ... better enough on the Thursday afternoon that she could keep a podiatrist appointment ... but so bad on the Friday that she couldn't get up or dressed for a beauty shop appointment. (For her, that's serious.)

With the help and support of my step-sister, we took her to Beaumont Emergency that Friday evening. She was admitted to their Progressive Care Unit with pneumonia. That was July 17. Her condition deteriorated. Last night (Friday) I visited and, for the first time, she was unable to wake up. I was concerned but the nurse said not to be too concerned ... even though we knew her condition was grave. Her vitals were still about the same with a heart rate of 90-110, blood pressure of 170/79 and peripheral blood oxygen at 94-99. Then, at 2:30am I was called from the hospital and told they'd moved her to the cardiac intensive care unit due to low oxygen and weak heartbeat. After a nearly sleepless night (2 hours of sleep) I was awakened at 7:30am and told her condition was NOT an optimistic one and asking about the measures we (she and I) wanted them to take on a 'code'.

The bottom line is that my mother passed away about 3pm this afternoon. I'm a wreck. (That's NOT to invite pity.) I ache with that pain we all know from all-nighters, too little sleep, and too much stress.

Her wishes to have her body donated to Wayne State University's Medical School as an anatomical gift will be honored. We won't be having any services ... just remembering her each in our own way.


The (dark humor) irony ... as a child of the Great Depression, my mother was always careful about discarding anything. "That's too good to throw away" was one of her most frequent scolds ... whether it be food or kitsch. Thus, I'd sort of wanted someone to use magic marker on her body (which is emaciated to concentration camp levels) and write "Too Good To Throw Away." (The ICU staff didn't seem to get my 'humor.' After all, I'm a Nut.)

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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-01-09 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Crap.
You are a good person and a GREAT son.

I am so sorry about your mother. You took
loving care of her and she didn't linger
on a ventilator or something horrific like
that.

Were you able to be with her when she passed
away? I was with my father when he died, and
at the time I wished that I had stepped out
for that. It messed me up pretty badly, but
after 10 years, I'm glad now, that I was with
him. I just wish I had been braver, and not
been crying at the time.

Try to put the question of "now what?" aside
until you've had time to deal with the grief.

You done good.

:hugs:
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. It's that and more.
Thanks. That's generous of you to say. She never regained consciousness since last night (Friday? I've lost track) and the last words I said to her then and the night before were that I loved her ... with words of support and encouragement (keeping the stiff upper lip and all). I didn't want my last memories to be painted with more of her (I'd infer) suffering and pending demise. I saw into the ICU unit in which she was lying and saw enough as it was. My step-sister (a 'good Catholic' (really)) did me the favor of staying there while I went outside and waited. Once they removed the ventilation tube, it was relatively quick and painless, she said.

My father, who wasn't around for half of my 'broken home' growing up, died about 30 years ago. He had a massive coronary while leaning off a bar stool in the VFW to light a gal's cigarette. The medical folks at the hospital said he was probably dead before he hit the floor. They asked if I wanted to see his body ... but I demurred. It's not something I do unless I can't avoid it.

I think I made the best choices I was capable of making. I'll hopefully not have regrets in the future for not doing the "right thing" -- which is my "Death Of The Hired Man" litmus test.

It's tough living in 'her' house with 'her' stuff all around ... and being alone after 6.5 years of being constantly conscious of her well-being (listening to hear if she falls, etc.). That's what's going to be rough, I guess.

At some point, I guess I'll start having daily cries/weepings for a while ... which experience tells me is my 'way' ... but at this point I'm so tired, stressed, and whacked out it's hard to even climb stairs or pour myself a lemonade. I have LOTS of 'housekeeping' to do ... lots. I'm not good at facing such depressing solitary tasks, either. Oh well.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I remember sitting around in my bathrobe, playing
"Any Major Dude" by Steely Dan over and over
and SOBBING for a whole evening.

Time will wash away the pain.

Nothing else, in my experience, will.

Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm0Iq5ebU9U

:hug:
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. After almost a year and a half
I'm just now starting to not necessarily cry a little bit everyday, but whenever I think about my mom or hear or see something that reminds me of her, I still cry. I takes a long time.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. TahitiNut, so very sorry for your loss. You did well and made a difference in her life.
:hug:

I lost my Mom on the 22nd of July and was grateful her suffering had ended. My daughter and I cared for Mom the last five years, since Dad died. She was fairly healthy and able-bodied until just a few months ago, but we helped her through many emotional pains, breast cancer and melanoma until five weeks before she left.

My 3 youngest half-sisters stepped in the last five weeks, after ignoring her for years, deemed us losers and that was about the end of it. We only saw Mom a few more times after that to keep the peace and save Mom more pain.

I miss her like crazy. The pain comes and goes. Only time can ease it. :cry:
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thank you.
I'm still numb ... and losing sleep. After 6 years of being a solo caregiver 24x7, the silence in the house is crushing. It's a pretty tough shock even knowing it'd happen somehow. Although I'm now 'free' to do things, there's just an overwhelming amount to do.

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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Hang in there, it will ease.
:hug:
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Good job.
Don't be surprised after your long work that you might not feel sadness. Somehow doing all that work for a loved one pre-grieves and leaves us well when they leave us.

In fact your story sounds almost like a picture perfect job of living, though I'm sure it had its moments. Still I say...

Good job.

I'd hope I could meet you, there's something about putting a face to all this type. I just hope they can tell us apart -- two fat old dirty men who took care of their mama's and have strange humor. Bub-baaaaaaaai.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. That's a facet I'm vaguely seeing.
There's a mixture of relief and grief in me ... a Yin-Yang cycle. I wish she'd lived to see her 90th birthday in September and we'd had a party ... but I'm glad she lived to see 89, which is more than her parents or four brothers did. It was a horrible three weeks punctuating a very difficult 7 months at the end of a laborious 6.5 years ... but she didn't have to live out her final days in a prolonged state of vegetative and painful lingering in a nursing home. The suffocation and system failures that come from COPD are difficult, but nowhere nearly as bad as many cancers or Alzheimer's. I'm overwhelmed with what faces me in terms of clean-up and recovery ... but am hopeful that there're some good times over the horizon.

In my entire life, I NEVER foresaw (or would have believed) that I would be a caregiver for my mother and living in this situation. It's really remarkable to me how Life 'secretly' gives us just barely enough 'lessons' (which we often doubt) to cope with what befalls us. For some years now, I've been forced to note that there's some WARNING in receiving the 'gifts' of intelligence or good looks or physical fitness as we begin our lives ... since the WARNING is we're gonna NEED those 'gifts' to deal with what's coming. As I contemplate, for example, "kids with something extra" (Downs Syndrome), I'm forced to regard their sunny outlook and incredibly LOVING propensity as the flip-side of the Life WARNING the more 'gifted' of us receive (but usually don't recognize).

While I too am ambivalently inclined to both "put a face" on other DUers in this area, I'm also hesitant ... since "what is essential is invisible to the eye" and I know that we all have deeply-ingrained habits of letting people's OUTSIDES affect what we 'see' more than their INSIDES as reflected in DU interactions.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Pneumonia, the old person's friend.
So tired, so sleepy. The fight to live finally is exceeded by the body's fight against infection. I imagine it, comforting to go. Missing the milestones only bothers us, remaining.

The warnings interest me. I've felt such callings several times in life, and then, as magical as deja vu, come events requiring the studies I undertook because of the strange feeling of warning. Not the kind of topic making for good light talk over dinner.

I tend to see into people rather than just the looks. Sometimes it makes people uncomfortable so I tone it down. Also, not a good item for light dinner talk.

So, here's looking at you... however that may happen.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. I'm so sorry, Tahiti
As my mother died in April of 2008, I really do know what you're going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know it's a difficult time, but take heart in knowing she's at peace now.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yes, I remember that well ... and "sat shiva" in my heart for you, then.
You're another DUer (along with Laura) I've neglected -- clearly MY loss for not making connections -- for far too long. (I did stop into Nancy Skinner's campaign office on Woodward one day and ask about you ... but the stars weren't aligned. Nancy was outside, chatting with someone.)

We have some pretty impressive folks in this area, I think. MrScorpio is a relatively recent arrival to SE Michigan, too ... and I think there's probably a pretty good opportunity for social enrichment we're missing. I guess I tend to think that the "cat herd" benefits by getting together even if there's a lot of hissing and arched backs. After all, some of the best people in our lives are those who weren't "comfortable" ... having DIFFERING habits, backgrounds, styles, perspectives. So ... it'd be MY expectation that we'd do some head-butting -- and think that was a Good Thing. (Make any sense? I'm still a bit fried after 7 hours sleep.)
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. I'm hoping MrScorpio can come
I met him at a march in DC a few years ago. He actually grew up here, moved away and is back. I don't remember where he lives, but I think on the east side somewhere.

I never knew you tried to find me at Nancy's office during the 2006 campaign. Sorry we haven't met yet. I hope you can make it on the 21st. PM me for details if you can.
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. Please allow me to offer my condolences. My Mother
passed away 12 years ago this month. I understand the myriad emotions you're going through. I still go through them only not quite as painfully. I wasn't with my Mum when she passed but I did work in a funeral home so I was permitted to prepare her. It was truly an honour and labour of love to do so.

I hope there were heartwarming moments between you and your Mom in the past years that will remain as loving memories.

aA
kesha.





I hope you don't mind my jumping in.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. I appreciate it.
Every relationship is unique ... as unique as the people. My relationship with my mother is no exception. I loved her dearly and miss her terribly but we butted heads far more than not. (Mother knew best and my 'place' as her child was always to do what I was told. Made it maddening to get her do what the doctor prescribed.)

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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I am so very sorry.
So sorry. :hug:

If you need to talk a bit, I'm around.

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michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
25. I am sorry for your loss
I hope you find some comfort and peace.
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
28. Tahiti, I am so very sorry for your loss. Take care.
:grouphug: That's me and my pack of boovies, sending you a hug.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Thanks! I sure could use some boovie kisses these days.
I really should also apologize to Sharon for unintentionally hijacking this thread. I was so totally wrung out on Saturday that it didn't occur to me ... I just started typing. I'm generally not inclined to drag my sorrows out in "public" -- I guess the loose anonymity of DU makes it a little different.

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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. I'm sure no apology is necessary.
Your feelings are important, and if posting your thoughts and feelings on this thread or any other for that matter, helped you in any way, that's what matters. I'm sure Sharon and all the others are glad they could be there for you to "listen". You feel free to write whatever you want, whenever you need to. We'll be there.

No sense, sticking your head in a bag (a problem I tend to share with my Alexander), because sometimes the bag is empty, and denying that it is won't get you any more dogfood.





Take care,
livvy
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Don't worry about it, Tahiti
I understand.

I'm still having trouble finding a place. I haven't heard back from Black Finn. I called Amici's yesterday and they don't take reservations Friday and Saturday nights, but the guy I talked to was going to check with the owner and get back to me.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. There's 'Tavern on the Main' in Clawson.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 03:08 PM by TahitiNut
They have a good-sized outdoor patio and I've seen groups of 10-12 put tables together there. (I'm guessing we'll be lucky to get about eight DUers.) They also have two indoor rooms, even though I've only sat inside once. It's clean and decent.

Yes, I like Amici's 'Living Room' (patio) but it's not a place that'd handle a group, even though I guess 7-8 would probably not have a problem.

Como's in Ferndale has a section of their patio they use for groups ... wedding rehearsal dinner size. Friday night at Como's is pretty hectic, though.

Papa Vino's on Coolidge south of Maple(15) has an outdoor patio, too ... but it's pretty much a family causal dining place.

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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I'm guessing 15-20 people
There's five with just me, my family (if they come) and my out-of-town guests. Amici's had a big group in the room with the bar last time I was there, so I know they can handle it. I'm just concerned that if they won't take a reservation they won't be able to accommodate us. You're right about Como's on a Friday -- I wouldn't go near the place. I'd like to stick to Royal Oak or Berkley if possible. If I don't hear back from Amici's, I might stop by there this weekend.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Great
I hope she can stick around. I for sure figured we couldn't count her in.
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1gobluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. Would love to attend but have family coming in from out of state
And Tahiti Nut, so very sorry about your mother. :hug:
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
26. I might be able to make it. n/t
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. That would be great.
I'd love to meet you.
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
29. Sounds like fun!
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. I expect you to attend.
It's my 60th birthday, and I want you there!
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. WooHooo! Well I guess I'll just have to be there, then.
The big 60. Not too far in my future, either!
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kpominville Donating Member (323 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
34. let me know where
If I can be there, I will.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. It would be great to see you.
Once I pin it down I'll let you know.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
39. Sadly, or happily for some of you, we will only be in town for the 16th
and 17th. BabyG has to be back for school by the 20th (schedules and orientation). We'll be there in spirit.
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Oh Laura! I was so hoping it would work out for you to be there.
I'm going to try my darndest to get there. We need to socialize with people more often.

I'm sorry we'll miss you.

:hug:

:loveya:

aA
kesha
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