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This article originally appeared on AddictionBlog.org

Grandparents: What’s A Daughter/ Son To Do?

My mother taught me how to swoosh into a room on a wave of casual chic while holding a whiskey. The issue? I was only 8-years-old, terribly overweight, and had none of the fashion acumen my mother had.

My mother was a Loretta-Young-meets-Cher type of woman and could design dresses that even Bob Mackie would marvel at. As chaotic a mother she was, she managed in her lucid moments to be a grandmother to remember for my three daughters.

She planned Easter egg hunts in the Hawaiian sun and colored their nails with holiday decals while lathering herself in iodine and baby oil.

She gave safe harbor to the oldest, a wild sixteen-year-old with a taste for the extreme and was forever her champion.

Taking her to an AA meeting became a show-stopping event. So she dug in her heels, proudly announced she was not an alcoholic, and when we left she went straight to the store for a refill.

I regret to say I was never able to get her the help she needed; she was never open to help. A heart attack killed her at the age of 80, pills and bottles in hand.

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