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Two Tubes of Lipstick & A Gallon of Vodka

I’m sure you can’t tell from the title of this article that it’s an end of life story.

The poignant thing is that THIS part of the story is really wonderfully funny.

At least I think so.

You can judge for yourself.

Here goes:

I originally wrote this when my family member was near the end of her life and she passed away only a few days after I finished writing it and published it .

NOW, More than being an anecdote, this story is a tribute to her, because she was the proverbial spit-fire…

The somber note is that Alzheimer’s slowly altered her memory, and her behavior and shortened her life.

ANYONE out there with a family member or a friend suffering from Alzheimer’s, my heart goes out to you! Educate yourself. Be patient and loving with YOURSELF AND your loved one. Times like this show us what we’re made of.

For both for her privacy and for ease of writing. I am going to call her Ms. T.
Ms. T lived a wonderful life full of family, friends, events, travel, parties, rubbing elbows with notables, golf games and real estate.

She was a whiz at selling real estate AND she was a great golfer. She played with some heavy hitters. In her prime real estate and golf went together extremely well. I imagine they still go together today – BIG deals being made on the 9th hole.

To the very end, in her late 80’s, she was a classy woman – always well-dressed, always putting her best foot forward.

She had a closet that every woman with taste and style wanted to raid…

…and a smile that lit up a room. A big, broad smile.

Ms. T wore a specific color of Revlon lipstick. Revlon, not L’Oreal, or MAC or Urban Decay, but Revlon.

One day she noticed she was running out of her lipstick and asked her daughter to pick up another tube.

I’ll also add that Ms. T had a taste for good vodka. She loved her evening cocktail hour. Who can begrudge an 87 year-old woman her cocktail hour???

In addition to her favorite lipstick she also requested her favorite vodka in the convenient gallon economy size.

Her daughter, being the loving daughter she is, bought her mother TWO tubes of lipstick.

Ladies, we all know how this goes – eventually every cosmetic company stops making our favorite shade of lipstick and we have to find a new color that never quite matches or looks as good as the old color.

Two tubes is an assurance of continuing to have the right color.

The vodka, well, if you drink vodka you know what works.

(I personally don’t drink vodka because it makes me mean. I don’t really drink much at all. I can’t hold my liquor now. I can hear a friend, whom I’ve known since college, saying: “YOU NEVER COULD DRINK, but you frequently field tested it”. It was college, what can I say?)

Later in the day loving daughter delivered the two tubes of lipstick and the bottle of vodka.

Ms. T asked why she bought her two tubes of lipstick?

In her daughter’s mind it was for the aforementioned reasons. They make sense to me.

Ms. T said she may not live long enough to finish the two tubes of lipstick.

“Then why did I get you such a big bottle of vodka if you think you might not be around much longer?”

“Oh, I’ll be around long enough to drink the vodka!”

(Drum splash!)

That reminds me of a quote from The Godfather “Leave the gun, take the cannoli!”

“Forget the lipstick, get the vodka!”

As always, thanks for reading.

See you again next week.

For help for you, a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s:

www.alz.org