Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Three months...and the journey continues...

Last March 3rd, on my 62nd birthday, Mother passed away.
It has been 3 months and I still miss her so much.

Everywhere I go...I am "with her" and she is "with me."

Mom was so much a part of my life,
and in retirement...a weekly friend who would join me for teas, lunches, shopping and coffee. We shared books, laughter and love.

My daily walks, which were curtailed upon her demise.
Load of work to do on the estate, but mostly because
I passed by her condo on my walking route
and I felt so sad walking by...

Most days, before Mom died, I would stop in for tea and a chat after my walk.
so naturally,
walking past was just too emotional for me.

Many times I would start to walk only to turn around and return home.
Then I took to driving to other areas of town for my walk but this felt too weird and why drive the car and use the gas?

Three months in...
the bulk of the estate has been seen to...
mom's condo has sold and her personal things have been dispersed among the family and those not wanted, were donated.

It has been a big challenge and I have dug deep for strength.
With support from my husband and friends... I am grateful.

I returned to Yoga
to increase my flexibility and for stress relief...
The deep breathing and calming poses help.


I have gained a few pounds.



Recently a call came in from Hospice offering me some counselling...

I cried while I was on the phone and said 
"Thank you,  I am OK"


I have been eating "comfort food"
too many salty crunchy chips!
(my weakness)

They call it comfort food for a reason!


I gave myself a stern lecture.
It is time to get back on track.

The roses are blooming, the sun is shining and my walking route awaits...
Mom would not want me to be sad.

So I have been walking along my favourite route and am looking at the building where she lived and remembering...
with a few tears mixed in with the salt air and sunshine.
Behind my sunglasses no one can see them.

 My week is ticking along...
watching the scale slowly reflecting the results of my efforts.


Pepper is looking longingly out at the birds.


She would leap out the window and try and catch one of the birds if she only could...


Lunch after my walk.


Tea with a 2 egg omelette and a small salad.

The daily 5km walks are not quite happening yet
4kms each day is my current goal...


The roses blooming in The Humble Bungalow Garden 
are helping to brighten up my days. 

It is going to take me some time to get totally "back on track"
to my desired weight.
In the meantime we plod along and try to make the best of things.


Grief is not predictable.
Frankly it frequently startles and surprises me.


Thank you for stopping by...

Hostess

63 comments:

  1. Such a poignant post Leslie. I recognized long before your mother died how close the two of your are. And quite frankly, I was so envious. I know you treasure your memories of time spent with her. I think you are doing very well dealing with all of this. Whenever you have time, I would love reading more about your mother--where she was born, what her childhood was like, how she met your father, if they had a formal wedding, where you lived as a child, what your mother cooked for dinner etc. I've loved the few photos you have posted of your mother.

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    1. I love this comment so I'm going to second it.

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    2. I think that a post about Mom's life is a great idea...it would be an honour to write about her...thank you for the suggestion Susan (and KSL)

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    3. Thirding both the respect for how close you were to your mother, and the desire to hear her story. Wishing you all the best Leslie, this can't be an easy time. I hope that it brings its own gifts, I can only imagine.

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    4. Thank you Lisa, I will put together a tribute to mom at some point in the future.
      I never considered that there might be gifts going through this process but you are right because for starters I am learning better what I need, what I can let go of and how to cope...all good things in the end.

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  2. Grief is an odd thing. People can ask if you are well and you can reply that you are at the moment but can be at the supermarket till when the cashier asks if you have change and a sudden lump can come to the throat. You are doing really well and it is fantastic that you are literally trying to walk through things. A walk and tea does as much as chips do :)

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    1. I know that I am not alone on this journey.
      Many readers have reached out to me via email and my friends have had losses.
      There are quite a few women in the Yoga studio who have recently lost family members

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  3. "in the meantime we plod along and try to make the best of things" It is a long, long process with no real end. Days get better though and it gets easier to see all of the happiness you still have. Nothing replaces that special person, but life is worth living for them. I hope you continue to be good to yourself and take all the time you need for self care. Hugs!

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    1. There is no end as long as the memories stay alive...
      we must adjust our attitude in small ways to seek solace and keep going.

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  4. My heart aches for you. I lost my mother quite unexpectedly, not long before you lost yours. It is wrenching, no matter what our age is.
    You can make the best of this mourning. What would your mother say? She would want you to be your best self, to be healthy, to do the right thing. It helps me to think that way. That she's always there, cheering me on to be better.

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    1. How we choose to deal with our loss is important...I do not want to be numb or depressed...I need to feel the sadness and pain when it strikes and work though it.
      Mom would definitely not want me to be weepy all the time...once in awhile its OK.
      She was also very proud of me when I lost 30 pounds so I must try to keep that in mind and take measures not to get back into that unhealthy range!

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  5. Be very kind to yourself. Walking is a great de stresser and a way to connect with nature.I have found grief to be like the tides- it rolls in, but then it leaves for a bit.

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    1. Nature is a powerful part of our day to day life where I live.
      There is so much beauty surrounding us that it cannot help but to lift us up.
      Your tidal waves describing moments of grief is very poetic.

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  6. You just need some time, though you really never get over losing someone close. It has been 16 months since my Mom passed and I think of her every day; sometimes the eyes get damp and I can hear her voice. Good for you to getting back into some fitness routine.

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    1. Time will help heal...I know that is true.
      I felt immense grief and sadness when my grandmother passed away and my father shortly after in 2007 and now I can think of them both without crying.

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  7. You must miss your mum a lot. Having lived close to each other, you have shared a lot. My mum lives across from the library/community centre where I visit a few times a week. When she goes, those unexpected drop-in will cease. I'm struggling with the blood pressure/weight issue again and I don't like it. But my daughter (minus 85 pounds on her 5'1" frame) came over and we swam yesterday. Next week, she starts strength training so I'll probably go too. Your orange roses are beautiful. I'm working on pollinator gardens in our complex so I've a lot more plants to plant this afternoon. I'm really enjoying The Midwife of Hope River and 15 Dogs is on reserve at the library. Keep plodding.

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    1. I hope that you have many more lovely years ahead with your Mother...I know that you two are close.
      The blood pressure and weight gain are linked for me as well...do you also have a sluggish thyroid ? Mine is virtually not functioning!
      Your daughter must feel like a new woman after losing 85 pounds ...she is my height so I can just imagine how different she would look.
      Perhaps we need to start back writing down our WW points and check in once a week to monitor our progress.

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  8. Don't be upset by the crying, I think it let's a bit of the pain out. When I lost my mum so many things would make me cry too.

    Then after a year or two later, the tears were replaced by smiles as i was able to remember all the wonderful time we had together.

    I lost my dad last year and still get teary, but like you am taking small steps in getting back to normal in my own time.

    Julie

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    1. I am sure you are right Julie...the passage of time does help.
      It is important that we listen to our heart and respect our bodies and not expect that we will immediately bounce back.
      Small steps...

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  9. Grief can indeed be unpredictable and although its been 12 years since my father passed, I still find a tear in my eye whenever something stirs a memory. My mother is 93 and has extreme short term memory loss so even if I spend some time wither her she doesn't remember. Your roses are beautiful and walking and yoga are good for the soul as well as the body.

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    1. My heart goes out to you Pieta as your Mother's memory is unreliable and fragile.
      It is hard to watch...my MIL is 99 and has severe dementia. It breaks my heart to see her like this as she was a feisty and vibrant woman when she had all her faculties.
      The roses are splendid right now and i will keep sharing them until they are done for the summer....
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  10. Leslie, it would be nice to learn more about your mother. Because of who you are today, I am sure she was a wonderful, nurturing woman. Grief is indeed, unpredictable. My mother died in 1980 when I was thirty-two. I thought I would never be able to speak of her without tears. Time does help, along with recognizing when you need some extra pampering, exercise, or even a forbidden snack. Your roses are just lovely.

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    1. I will keep that thought in mind and perhaps I will write a post on Mom at some point in the future.
      The loss of ones Mother is a life altering event and one that at 32 or 62 is painful...I cannot complain too much as Mom lived a long and relatively healthy life until the last 2 weeks before she passed on.

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  11. I too felt a little envious of your close relationship with your mother, and that you could visit with her so often. It is not something I ever had as an adult having moved to the city at an early age. You have had an enormous loss, and of course grief will come and go, for a long time. Your are doing wonderfully well, and I admire you for going back on your walks - as you say, the sunglasses hide your tears, and you will come to find comfort in being in the area. The few pounds, which probably only you notice, will melt away as you walk - 5km is an excellent goal, more than I can manage :) All the best xo

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    1. Your kind words this morning help...as today Mom would have turned 90.
      It's a day that will remind me of her for the rest of my life.
      XO

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  12. Good for you - getting back on track. Sometimes, I feel like living my life to the fullest is the best way to honor my parents whom I miss very much. Still hurts, though, after many years. Big hug.

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    1. Thats a great goal...living life to the fullest and what a lovely attitude to adopt!

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  13. Tears are healing, Leslie, so let them fall. Grief does catch one unawares at times. I think we know so little about it and how to handle it, especially in our western world. Be kind to yourself. Enjoy the beauty of each day. Your roses are gorgeous.

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    1. We do tend to sweep these powerful emotions under the carpet...Mom was like that too..she'd say put the kettle on and we'll have a cup of tea! Tea was a way of soothing us in many a situation!

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  14. I was telling a friend this evening that I went to a Gershwin concert at the Hollywood Bowl last year; I love his music. Little did I think that I would have such an emotional experience but when a soloist came out and sang, "The Man I Love" from Porgy and Bess, I burst into tears. It brought back such memories of my husband. Grief and love is never forgotten but stay in our hearts and tend to reappear at the most unexpected times.

    Take care.

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    1. Oh I totally can relate...and to lose a husband must be much more profound than losing an elderly parent...it will always hurt but somehow we must press on. You do such a wonderful job with your home renovations and the beautiful garden that you have created and tend to with such energy and passion.
      XO

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  15. Though, of course, you are sad & grieving it is such a blessing that you had her in your life for so long. My parents both perished when I was in my 30's, which was a long time ago. No one ever really stops being sad or stops missing the ones who have gone on ahead. But, memories of the good things finally settle over you, you attain acceptance and then move on, just as your mother would want you to. 3 months is such a short time, my friend. Everything feels better when enough time passes. For now, enjoy your cat, your flowers, your husband and your kids, love your neighbors and appreciate that you live in one of the most beautiful places on our planet. You know I love you....

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    1. It must have been tough losing both your parents at such an early age.
      I am focusing on the beauty that is around us and holding close our wonderful family and friends. It is not all darkness, rather more light but a few tears mixed in for good measure!

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  16. Thank you for sharing your home and life, I so enjoy reading your blog. Grief is a tough job, I know. I can't believe my mother has been gone for 30 years. I was only 32 when I lost her. I kept going though, as you will. As you do, I had a wonderful supportive spouse, and 2 young children and they got me through it.

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    1. Living life, keeping busy and pressing on...that is all we can really do and it sounds like you found strength and courage to carry on at a dark time in your life...well done.

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  17. Your blog is one of the first I read when I get to work and it starts my day with your beautiful pictures and words. I lost my Mom 11 years ago and not a day goes by that I don't miss her. She and I always lived together, so not only do I miss her as my Mom, but as my lifelong roommate!! But, I have a plethora of wonderful memories that comfort me constantly. It does get better and the grief is handled easier - you are doing all the right things. Your Mom would be proud of you. Laura

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    1. The memories are what can sustain us...
      I will honour my Mother by trying to be stoic and by cherishing her memory.

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  18. Such a beautiful post and the comments
    You've had a great and loving relationship with your mother,I'm having the similar one with my mother. It is a treasure and something so valuable that other people could actually "feel" and recognize it deep inside you. We are really blessed.
    No one could imagine the loss and the sorrow......
    But,the path you have chosen,with your family and friends,walks,yoga,your beautiful garden.....is a good one
    Take care
    Hug
    Dottoressa

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    1. Oh and try to cherish each day that you have your Mom...it sounds like you have a lovely relationship and that you are close. I hope she is with you for many years.
      XO

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  19. Hostess, I can only imagine what a difficult time this has been. Your mother was so dear to you. I've found that grief has its own timetable, and can sneak up when you least expect it. Be gentle with yourself, and don't be afraid to lean on those who are offering support when you need it. My thoughts are with you, and sending you a cyber hug.

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    1. Thank you Sue...
      I watched the video of you and Sandra on Brian's makeover site and I smiled when I saw you doing your lips and then the make up...you are truly beautiful. Your eyes sparkle and you have a genuine energy that feels contagious...thank you for sharing that with us on FB.

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  20. Leslie, thank you so much for this post. My Mom is 94, but this year she is slipping away from me. Your comment about your mother not wanting you to be sad made me weep. I know my Mom would feel the same way and want me to enjoy life, as both my parents did. I was so blessed to have such wonderful parents.
    You are an inspiration,
    Diana

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    1. Diana, my heart goes out to you at this time...its difficult watching our loved ones when their health is failing. Take care of yourself too.

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  21. I spent MOTHER"s DAY in the hospital with My Mother........I thought she was going to pass whilst I was trotting about ENGLAND!Of course, I pondered whether to go or NOT!SHe was moved back to her place and HOSPICE was brought in..........what a wonderful organization!I come home to find almost 92 year old MOTHER doing GREAT!SO, great I FIRED HOSPICE!!!!!!
    I love that they FOLLOWED up with YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
    DAY by DAY ..........baby steps.............
    PS.I lost 5 pounds walking those English gardens...................now HOW to keep them AWAY!!!!
    Beautiful Post!

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    1. Oh how stressful for you, leaving on the garden trip when your mom was not well...it must have been quite a dilemma. Good news that she has rallied and is doing better! Bravo!
      The local Hospice unit is small but has many wonderful and dedicated volunteers...they have a garden tour every June called The Teeny Tiny garden Tour and I may offer our garden next year....we were approached many years ago but I felt that we were not ready but now I have a good reason to help with the fundraising.
      Congrats on the weight loss! I was like that on my Paris and France trip...so much walking!
      Take care of yourself...I saw on IG that you were "under the weather"

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  22. Having lost my mom three years ago sadly I still have moments of actual panic at the thought that she is forever gone. I say this only to share that grieving is different for each of us. I had unfinished business with my mom and it will have to be left as so.
    Also, I gained at least twenty pounds after she died. This I am working on like you. Keep up the good work on your painful journey. Your family needs you healthy. God bless.

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    1. I know mom is forever gone...I held her hand as she passed away.
      It must be difficult as you have said that there was some "unfinished business" with you and your Mother...I hope that you can find some closure...perhaps in time the pain will ease. I would hope so.
      Some people gain weight and others lose during times like these...I suppose I eat comfort food to make myself feel better momentarily...which is not the wisest of choices. I am taking charge of that again and will see if I can turn things around.
      Good luck to you

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  23. I think that you are coping amazingly well and that all your experiences are completely normal. I lost a dear friend 9 years ago and to this day I have difficulty stopping for coffee at one particular spot because it was so much a part of our Saturday routine - the only thing I can repeat is that it does get easier.
    I think it's important that you work through this process at your own speed and treat yourself kindly. Comfort food is called such for a reason and sometimes it's exactly what one needs. Yes, it's important not to go mad and gain a lot of weight - but I don't think a few pounds is anything to beat yourself up about. Your life has been in a bit of an upheaval lately but things will settle down and you'll find yourself back on track.
    In the meantime, enjoy your family, your lovely home and garden, and your precious memories. Take Care.

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    1. It is of some comfort knowing that you are avoiding a cafe just like I am avoiding mom's building! I have been able to go to several of our haunts...the tearoom, The Snug, walking along the Esplanade and I will just keep pushing ahead...
      I am hoping for a calm summer...trying to get back on track slowly!

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  24. As I read recently: ..."Grief is love that has no where to go." Wished I could remember who to honor for this beautiful comment. Just felt it would comfort you.

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  25. I admire you very much for putting this here for all of us, and for yourself. I can't imagine what your grief is like. All I can do is to send my best wishes to you for peace and comfort.

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    1. Writing about the feelings is helping me to work things through...
      thankfully the grief is not as intense as it was in the past 3 months...there are periods of ease and moments of joy. Our family and friends are a wonderful support.

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  26. I totally feel what you are going through. A few years ago my mother died on mother's day. My husband was diagnosed the next day with lung cancer and died a few months later. Like you, I had my mother's estate to take care of and her house was practically next to mine. It was hard walking past and still is. We were having work done on our house and thing were a mess. It was hard seeing memories of my husband and going past mom's house every day. The man who was doing the work on my house was a friend and told me to get away for a while and sent me to his beach house while he and his team did some major repairs. My good friend was a God-send. I was in a small cafe having lunch and reading while away. A man came up to me and said L looked trouble and asked if he and his friends could pray. He was a priest and was at lunch with others. They prayed and he invited me to his church during my stay. He knew the family who owned the cottage where I was staying. Their prayers seemed to bring a calm and peace over me. I did attend his church during my visit and have been back several times. He wrote to my friend after my first visit to check on me to make sure I was doing ok. My support came from strangers who have become good friends. Having no family and suddenly being all alone meant alot. Holidays are still hard to get through but I push myself to go on. It gets better every day. I wish you fond memories of your mum.

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  27. My mom passed away a year and a half ago. I still miss her every day. I'm still surprised by the waves of grief that suddenly wash over me. They take my breath away. I'm also overwhelmed with gratitude for having had such a loving, strong and joyful mother. Not everyone does. So many memories of her bring a smile to my face now more often than tears. We learn to live with grief but never "get over it."

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  28. Hostess...thank you for sharing such personal and private feelings through such poignant words...with your blog community. I pray you find peace with your mother's passing.
    charlene h.

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  29. There are mothers who are mothers in name only. There are mothers who are loving. Then there are mothers who are wonderful mothers and who are our best friends. We both had mothers who were also best friends, a double loss. I was lucky to be able to say good-bye to my mother, to have the time to tell her I loved her. One of your readers comments that she still had unresolved issues with her mother. To her, I would say that she should be forgiving to herself. Mothers aren't perfect; daughters aren't either.

    You and I were lucky to have had our mothers for so long. We saw our mothers daily. We were close to our mothers, both geographically and spiritually. It is hard to lose our mothers, our best friends. She would not want you to feel sad for very long. She would want you to cherish warm memories. And be kind to yourself. Three months is not long. Some say it really takes a year. It took me much longer.

    This year, I can weed her garden, now mine, without tears. I feel her smile at some of the things I have tried in the garden. She always wanted a Muckle Plum. I planted one. The deer ate it. This year it bloomed. I felt her smile. Sometimes, I hear her say, like she did when I was growing up, "Time to come in. You've done enough for today!".

    Sometimes raising children is so hard that there is not much room left for laughter. It was only when she was old that I felt as if I knew her and heard her laugh. I once asked her why she had not laughed so much when I was young. She replied because raising me had been serious business. I had many serious illnesses. How scared she must have been! So having the gift of knowing her as an adult was precious.

    We were blessed, you and I, with our mothers. I, too, would love to read about yours. In the meantime, pamper yourself. The pain will go, the pleasures will stay. Blessings, Ann

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    1. Your thoughts and comments here resonate with me...
      thank you.
      XO

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  30. Wonderful thoughts about your mom. I am going through this right now with my mom and find your insights to be comforting. Thanks

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    1. I hope that you are able to take some time for yourself through this painful journey.
      Take care,
      XO

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