I have a long-time customer in Brooklyn NY I hadn't heard from in over a year. She called me this morning on my cell, anxious to get in a little retail therapy and "get back to normal", as she had been in mourning all this time.

She, too, had been taking care of a mother with Alzheimer's, though her mother was about 10 years older than mine and the disease was quite advanced when she passed; she barely even spoke anymore.

My friend told me how strong and beautiful her mom had always been, and how, in those last days, she started to open up about her youth - and particularly about surviving the Nazi death marches during the Holocaust. She said her mother was at peace and comfortable and died in her sleep, but my friend was still devastated at losing her best friend. Most importantly, she encouraged me to stay patient and loving even when it was hard.

Often I'm so wrapped up in taking care of my mother that I can go days without telling her I love her - or just "being" with her. Sometimes perspective comes from a random phone call about vintage fashion...


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