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“My lovely Bette, the gift of presence is truly worth its weight in gold. I have enjoyed our time together so very much. As always.” Peggy reached for Bette’s hand. “I love you dear heart. Now, tell me. How are you doing? Really. No need to maintain that brave face with me.” Bette shook her head and squeezed Peggy’s hand. “It’s not easy. You know this. So many memories. Kit used to say that there was no need to put big pressure on ourselves this time of year and the best presents were simple ones given with love. She was right. Oh, I miss her, Peggy. God how I miss her.” Peggy slowly nodded. “I know, you do. I do know. As you know, my Marilyn loved the holidays and she would have totally approved of our little excursion. Given you two big thumbs up. She would have also echoed Kit’s sentiment to be sure. Marilyn used to say: ‘Whether a pair of fluffy socks or simply a note in a card with beautiful words, keep it simple and remind yourself about the value of a simple act of kindness.’” Peggy sighed. “And she was right. I will remember this little trip of ours forever. And what am I doing? Hosting an over the top holiday party that would have those beautiful blue eyes rolling.” Bette laughed. “Now, Peggy. Marilyn loved your holiday parties and it most certainly will not be over the top. You, my sweet, are not capable of over the top. Tastefully festive.”
Peggy laughed as the two continued their drive home from Joshua Tree. Peggy to make arrangements for her party and the arrival of Helena and Dylan and Wilson and Jang Yin. Bette to greet her beloved daughter and Shane and Maya and Buddy. Bette and Angie would soon visit Kit and place flowers on her memorial at Forest Lawn and walk the hills where they had scattered some of her ashes. Nothing could ever make up for the loss of Kit but this ritual with Angie always managed to ease the pain and bring Bette a sense of peace. The clock was now ticking until Angie left the nest and went off to the college. Spending some quality time alone with her baby girl was also a major blessing.