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Re: Mother is here!

To all the messages on the challenges of having Mother (or in-law) visiting 
for Christmas.

What a gentle feeling that came over me this morning, as I remembered the 
Christmas of 1992. As some of you may know or recall, my mother Pauline 
Banyai had suffered many years with congestive heart failure and passed away 
Dec. 18 that year, with the funeral just 3 days before Christmas 1992. 

In 1990 we almost lost her at age 70 but modern medical technology in the 
form of some heart work and medication gave her two more years. Knowing that 
her life was nearing the end she spent as much time as possible with friends 
and family, including hosta people. Those two convention years, Minneapolis 
and Columbus, were extra special, as some of you may recall.

In November 1992 she had two passions: get the newest hosta seed crosses 
together and think about surviving the winter. The seeds got done but the 
winter proved too long. 

In early December 1992 I mentioned that we might like to come visit her for 
Christmas, as a way of cheering her up. But she asked if she could come our 
way instead, which we agreed to. The wonder of her fading stamina and yet 
great spirit still inspires us. Visiting local Delaware hosta friends, seeing 
her grandsons perform Christmas plays and musicals, cooking up Christmas 
cookies for her grandsons, you knew she was doing what she wanted to do, even 
under great pain. We spent her last evening going out to a special birthday 
dinner with our middle son Aaron, then watched 3 hours of video tape of hosta 
gardens, with her mind and comments sharp as ever. She went to sleep and 
never woke up.

This morning my wife Lois mentioned that the 1992 Christmas may have been 
very hard on me but the family was really close together, at her Madison 
Heights home.  I recalled the unselfish love of folks like Dan Attkisson, our 
neighbor, who agreed to help me videotape the garden the next day in the dead 
of winter to capture all the latest garden markers she had put in, in case 
they got moved in spring cleanup. What a guy -- Thanks a milllion again Dan. 
Others too numerous to mention made very generous gestures that cannot be 
thanked enough.

Now the real reason for sending this message: my mother-in-law ( 67 years old 
) just spent 4 days with us. She is not the "messy housewife/gardener" that 
my mother and wife subscribe to, but rather one who sees all the dirt, dust 
and clutter inside. This is the first visit we have had in 25 years of 
marriage that there were no negative comments. Such as change spells no good 
for the future - something is up!!! But she is welcome back anytime, no 
matter what.

So, take it all in stride and enjoy people as they are, not as you may want 
them to be.  Let's all give the other guy a little slack. 

PS: My mother-in-law took the best photo of my mother's front garden on the 
July 1993 Metro Detroit garden walk that featured her garden in memorial. The 
photo hangs in our living room!

Season's Greetings to all!
bruce and lois banyai
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