Flashback to 1972. How odd it is that 1972 is so long ago because the 70s seem pretty recent to me. Galloping old age, as I used to say back IN the 70s. But here's me, in my red pajamas, having a cup of tea in my mother's kitchen. It was just after Christmas and my Nana had just died. Suddenly. Apparently she was feeling 'punk' as she used to say over Christmas and wasn't up for making dinner. That was a big red flag. Finally my parents took her to the hospital and she died on December 28th. She was 76 years old.
When my father called me in England where I was living, I burst into tears. Nana was really more like my mother. She was the one who raised me along with my grandfather during the war years of the mid 40s. My mother worked in Philadelphia, and could only come home on weekends. My father was in the Army in Germany. After that call, I tried to get a flight from the UK to the US, but a major storm had hit the East Coast. The storm moved eastward and airports in England all the way into Germany were closed. When I finally got a flight back home, I found my mother just overwhelmed with grief. She was sure she hadn't 'done enough'. It took me many years to see what a strong streak that was in my mother's nature. But there I am, doing what we always did, even before I moved to England. Sit down and have a cuppa tea. It didn't make everything right this time, but it helped. It always did.
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Source: Library of Congress
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