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My father had kind of a “larger than life” personality. My mom was a much quieter person, but still a force to be reckoned with. She was the kind of mom that my friends would say “I wish your mom was MY mom!!” about. She could reel my dad in with a look, in her earlier days. She had a great laugh, and a very sweet disposition. Until my dad riled her up. Then you might see her with an ice pick behind his back feigning doing him in very quietly. I’d never laughed so hard as I did at catching her doing that!! Her shoes and purse always matched, her hair was always just so, and she never left her house without her red lipstick on. She sang alto in the church choir for most of my growing up life, and also with a Sweet Adeline’s quartet. She could play the piano as well, and loved music, especially Elvis Presley! How this woman whom I so admired had to suffer through Alzheimer’s I will NEVER understand. If you don’t know anything about Alzheimer’s, I hope you’ll never have to learn about it on a personal level. It robs you of YOU. Eventually Mom became her body. The essence of what made her her was gone. Seeped out of her brain over the years. No more daily crosswords in pen, no more counted cross stitch projects, no more piano, no more singing, no more music, no more dancing to Queen with polishing cloths on her feet to shine her wood floors. No more beautiful laugh, and gone was the red lipstick. She lost us all in reverse chronological order. Great grandkids first, names lost. Then came the grandkids, my two first because they were youngest. Then the three of us, her own kids. Then my dad. He went from “Charlie” to “my husband” to “that man who visits me” to no recognition at all. Every once in a while a glimmer would be there, but for the most part the mother we had known all of our lives was gone. So when she passed away in September of 2016 we grieved. But I guess because we had been grieving already for many years it didn’t seem so profound as when Dad died. Not sure if that makes any sense, but that’s all I could come up with to make my brain understand.

Marian Elizabeth (Betty) Colston and Charles Brant Colston’s ashes were reunited in their beautiful double urn, fittingly enough on their 61st wedding anniversary. It wasn’t planned that way, just kind of fell into place. Together again, whole and maybe even singing a duet, just like they used to.

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