I am off to drive to the top of New Hampshire for a memorial service. Maureen was a lovely woman and when she lived near me we had lots of laughs. I loved all her children too.
This actually wasn't so bad! Sure we cried, but we laughed a lot too. Maureen lived a good life and a few of her children, two of her in-laws and even her hospice worker got up and spoke and it was really nice. My favorite part was that no one tried to make her out to be what she wasn't. They all explained she was crazy. She was! She was that kind of crazy where everyone was just excited to be around her. I'm sure she had sad moments, but they never showed. She said and did crazy things. She would write me letters that were just like she was in the room and when she was in the room it was usually like a stand up routine.
She had 8 kids ranging from 5 years older to 9 years younger than me. I was closest to Paul. Even after the family sold the cottage, Paul came around regularly and stayed at my house. When Tommy and Frankie were little he and my ex redid the bathroom. I explained that the part I liked best was that of all the people who ever worked on the house (not that many, it's falling down) Paul was the one who listened to me. Most people listened to what I had to say and then explained why they couldn't do it. Paul listened and said "OK".
Anyway, Paul met me outside and walked in with me to his Dad. His Dad faintly made the connection between me and the cottage, I hadn't seen him in 20 years. Then on to his youngest sister, Jennifer who didn't remember me at all. I told her that was fine, I was much older. His brother John remembered my ex, I think I only met him once. Then onto Dave who I saw frequently, and I had to completely explain who I was before I got my bear hug. I have changed, it's gratifying. LOL Then onto Doug. He ran with my sister Jen's crowd there were several summers where my house was packed every weekend with their friends. Again, the polite smile and the nodding and then - "Oh my God, you're beautiful! How did that happen?" I laughed. His sister Jen who hadn't recognized me asked "You remember her?" He replied of course he had lived in my house for a couple of summers. He turned to me again and said "When you get old, you are supposed to get ugly." I laughed and told him it was on the inside like the portrait of Dorian Gray, I got meaner. He asked how that was possible.
I told Grace later about all this. When I got to the part where Doug said I was beautiful, she said "Well it was the top of New Hampshire. they're like hillbillies."
If my ego ever gets too big.......I have Grace. I made the mistake of telling Jen while she was driving. We could have been killed - she nearly drove off the road.