Yesterday I found out a good friend of my Mother had died. She had been in declining health for the last several months.
This lady lived in the states for the last several decades. However, she was a quintessential English Woman. From saying she'd be sure to "ring us up," and seeing we got a "proper" mincemeat pie on more than one Christmas. "You yanks don't know what a real mincemeat pie is. I have to make it 'meself' from scratch to get a good one."
She even gave us a cake one year with "proper English frosting" on it (I thought I might need a hacksaw to cut through that rock-hard frosting). Yes, English cooking is *exactly* what you heard it is. If you are lucky, you'll never find out firsthand what I mean.
Anyway, we met her decades ago when my Gram was ill and needed round the clock care. We couldn't afford a registered nurse, but we found and hired a woman who was a retired nurse (she started nursing during WWII in England).
So she watched Gram while Mom and Dad worked. She'd even see I got a snack when I came home from school sometimes. With everything that is involved in taking care of someone as sick as Gram was, there was no hiding any family secrets from her during the time she worked for us. For a little over a year she was part of our family, and saw us at our worst.
After Gram died, she still stayed in contact with us over the years. To the point I was looking at pictures of her great-grandkids not even a month ago. That was the 2nd to last time I saw her.
This Tuesday I took Mom to see her. I couldn't believe how much she declined in health from the last time. From Gram I know how long someone can linger past the point of when they should died, and I was worrying that was going to happen here, but she passed away Wednesday night. The day after Mom and I visited.