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Family members who forget how their aging family member was always there for them and now that the aging family member is "old", simply don't have the time for even a visit. My mother was such a devoted mom. She was always there for her two children and never once was unavailable. She stayed in her abusive marriage to see her kids graduate from high school and always put her kids needs before her own. She never asked for anything. All she ever did was unconditionally love her kids; want the best for them in life; and be there should she ever be needed. It hurts me to have asked her family to make a day trip (four hour drive) to come see her. (She is now close to me logistically as I am the only family member to ensure she is receiving the necessary medical care. I have grown resentful of this so called family. I know that I will never get over my resentfulness but I try not to have this become a major issue in my life. I just don't understand how family can do this. I see so many elderly folks forgotten about. I am ashamed that our society is not more like some other places in the world where elderly family members are revered and their needs prioritized. Our country for whatever reason does not seem to feel this way when more than not families just don't take the time to simply stop by a nursing home and spend ten minutes to say I love you. Granted, there are families who love their aging parents and are there for them and I so respect this. I remain blessed to still have my aging parent and will do whatever I can to have her have the best quality of life I can. She deserves no less. She was always there for her family. So to those caregivers who are there for your aging family, hold your heads high. You are to be respected for all that you do. No one could have ever prepared me for the role of care giver but that's ok, it is one of the most important roles in my life and I embrace it and all of the challenges it presents because I love my mom and she would certainly do it for me.

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Same experience I had... We are 4 family members- me and my brother, mom and dad. I found that the bond me and my mother have- that are not present among others. My father is a critical, rude and irresponsible person in many ways. My mother took a great care of our academics. I became a medical graduate and my brother became an engineer. I read at a military school and then medical college outside home. So, for many years I was far away from home. But, me and mom are always closer.
When I became a doctor, after a year suddenly mom was very sick. It was diagnosed that she was suffering from Parkinson's disease. Day by day the disease was deteriorating, but I tried my best to give best care. It was started from 2002. My father promised me many times that he would arrange my marriage with an US immigrant and help me to settle in the US. My father was in the US for 13 years. Suddenly he came home in 2002 and broke all his promises and left all jobs he was working. Our family fall in a great problem. Me and my brother were recently graduated. My brother went to US in 2002, came home 2003 for marriage and did not come home till 2011. I went to Australia to study masters and after a semester I came home as I could not manage the tution fees. In 2005 I married a doctor. It was an arranged marriage. I found that the lady whom I married was not the correct person for our family. She did not show any respect for my mom though they were relatives. She was failed also to grow a good realtion with me. I had to take very strong decision. I found that my mother is the most important persobn for me. I decided to be separated from my spouse.
It was difficult decision as the bride's family pressurized me to accept their daughter.
I went to abroad but I was worried about my mom. I know very well that my father was an irresponsible person and he has no sympathy for others except his close friends. After a year, I rushed to my country. I found that my mother was so sick. I prayed a lot. My mother was happy when she saw me. Within 2 months she was improved, but I found that she became psychologically ill. I felt helpless when I used to see her in that way. My mother told me many times to marry again but I decided to not to marry till my mother was alive. In 2007, I completed MPH and in 2009, I completed MIPH- the Australian degree. I was awarded MIPH in 2010 and my mother was so happy to see this. My father used to say others before,'See, he spoiled a lot of money, but did not completed...' When I completed my degree I showed him my certificate and told him,' You are wrong. Have you seen it?' He felt ashamed.
My mother became so sick in June 2010. I managed her and served her as my best. My dearest mother left this world in August 2010. She was my best friend and she will be always in my mind.
I thank to the Almighty that He gave me the opportunity to serve my mother. My brother did not come and see my mother for 7 long years.
I am not blaming my brother as I think all this he learned from his father. I hate these type of family members who cannot love each others.
I am also grateful to my Almighty that He has given so wonderful mothers who always loves me most and took a great care of mine. I believe, we will meet again in the heaven. I always love you Mom.
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I am telling my story...
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Yes, Madge1, OMG, do we share the same life, ha ha. Our mother's generation, typically the mother stayed home tending to the house and kids while the fathers worked. The extended relatives lived nearby, and the kids, (my siblings), had the option to go straight to work after high school as college educations were seen as optional. Now, the pressure is greater in all areas, and perhaps, we as parents are over-involved. I don't know, but I do think we are being stretched much more.
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sosad2, let's give "our" generation a break. Most of us worked a full time job, raised a family, sent children to college (or are in the process). Expected to volunteer and wear many hats so to speak. My Grandmother cooked, cleaned and raised kids. Took care of her Mom for a few years until she had to go into a nursing home. My Mom worked a total of 7 years in her entire life, cooked, cleaned, took care of her kids and never took care of an elderly relative since they died earlier than today. From my perspective, they really had an easier life. Lots of relatives around because many of them worked in the same town for 25 or 30 years. Dad never lost a job nor my Grandfathers. I think women today have it so much harder than in the past. Yes, we have more "stuff", sometimes, but life is tough for the boomers too. We too are a great generation.
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Gee, I wonder if I should start a new discussion about this. So, my son left home and it was my daughter's last year in high school. I was looking at the brass ring after years of working part-time and doing the raising of the kids while my husband worked out of town. I also was caring for my mom for ten years off and on. (i'm the only one in the area). I got a full-time job in my 50's to help pay for college tuition and BINGO the mother landed at my house needing more care than ever. So now, instead of the brass ring, I'm working full-time and caring full-time, and not having that last year with my daughter as I had been looking forward to.
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It is a terrible and stressful situation. I am the only grandchild doing any care giving in the family and my mother took her father into our home for to do it. but come he passes and they will all be getting equal share in the sharing out, (note we do not get paid for the care giving). Granted many relatives live out of state so it is what it is. On a social level, fortress has the lay of the land there as many others do. This is a very different society. Aside form selfishness and being out for all one can get being seen as positive character traits, the Baby Boom generation is living to see Very Old parents in greater numbers, needing much more care and far more expensive care than ANY generation before. Look at statistics if you like, just fifty years ago the population of the aged was no where near the levels modern science seems unblushingly happy to provide in ever increasing numbers.
Gah, on the personal level, do what you need to for the care needs of the elder relative and let the greedy, thoughtless, self interested siblings deal with themselves. Get it all in writing and in legal terms, get help where you can, cherish YOUR relationship with your loved one, you are not responsible for the choices others make.
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It is a huge problem and only going to get worse as we get older. More medications to keep us alive into our 90s and beyond. Many of us now days do not even have children at all.

It is very difficult as adults to plan for your retirement after working year after year only to now be dealing with parents who are declining in health and because of medications a long slow path of ups and downs. Instead of spending our 50s and 60s doing a little traveling before getting "too old" , we are now here running after emergencies with our parents.

It is a weird situation. To love your parents and also resent it so much. To be responsible and yet have brothers and sisters who do not help and are let off the hook more and more just because "you will do it".

I do not know what the answer is. We are going to need more and more assisted living facilities and more and more nursing homes.

I have no idea what my husband and I will do when we cannot take care of ourselves. We are trying to make our home accessible as possible in anticipation of the future but for now... we have no future... the next 20 years of good health we have will be spent taking care of parents in declining health... and unfortunately parents who were not very loving. But we can't walk away.
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my question for all of you is -- has our past generations experienced all that we are at this point. I'm wondering, since I'm taking care of my mom, and my mom didn't take care of her mom as she was not living nearby and what did the folks do years and years ago. I'm thinking that we have become a very selfish society and the family has become fragmented. I think this is a huge crisis -- any thoughts?
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Sop 832 I have a feelingthats exactly whats happening in my situation. My sister got mad at me, for reasons which I still do not know and just basically cut herself off from my family, ever since then she sees my mom less and less she is now down to once or twice a month. I have a feeling all the stress of taking care of my Mom has gotten to her and her useless mooch of a husband put his foot down with all the visiting and taking her places. I have to only hold hope that Karma does exist and everyone gets what they give. I know at the end of the day I have done what right by my Mom and the others can just rot with their guilt in their own disgusting existance.
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I cared for my elderly and frail mom for the last 3 years of her life- she was 96 when she died in March. My sister was po'd at me [long story 2 long for here] and took it out on my mom by not coming to see her but twice in 3 years, but came to the funeral, crying her a** off and saying "Goodbye Mom I love you"
My sister and her husband and grown son had no friends there, the service was filled with my and my mom's friends. I never in a million years thought that my sister would be so hypocrital or that she would not even email me in the 41/2 months since my mom died.
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I have 5 brothers and sisters and yet am left as my dad's sole support. It does make you very angry and resentful.

In the situation you mention in your original post, you say the person stayed in an abusive marriage "for the kids to graduate". It is very likely the kids did not see it as for their benefit and they probably suffered for it. No one knows what really goes on in another's family. Sometimes a parent who thinks they were a wonderful parent - is completely unaware of how they actually treated their children.
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I have one sibling and he lives out of state. His relationship is good with my Mom because he does come home for day visits usually Saturday to Sunday, but just shows up no advance notice and I have no time plan a short get away.
I recently retired 1 year early 54, becuase I couldn't handle her health issues, mini strokes, seizers, slight dementia and walking disabilities and work full time always afraid of her falling. She doesn't or can't (I not sure which) the telephone which gives me no sense of peace because 99% of the time nothing is wrong but I don't know that. It has been over ten years living with this stress and I have lupus which is another added stress managing my own condition and caring for her. She does go to day care and she does have a homemaker for support but weekends I the sole caregiver and I work one day a week now but would like to return to work . Fiancially I can not afford not to work at least part-time but I am trying to give her the best quality of life I can while she can still appreciate it. My dilemma is getting him to talke her home with him sometimes or staying longer than a day and half?..............
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BONNIE:

Your Mom, one day a self-sacrificing servant; now useless to everyone but you. When you keep giving and catering to everyone's whims people don't learn to earn and take responsibility for anything. ... The gravy train is gone, and they probably resent that. But you know what? Forget them. Focus on Mom, and treat her like the Queen she was and still is. Bless you both.
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my useless sister visits my mom only twice a month even though she lives right down the street. I can so relate to all of these stories. Its heartbreaking to say the least because if anything ever happens she will be the first one to have her hand our asking for her half. Its disgusting.
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Amen to the above. I am going through the same thing with our son who has maybe seen his Gram 4 times in the past year. It is very painful to have to answer her questions as to why he does not come around. I get angry at his self-centeredness. I know he is busy working, but he drives by her facility every day. If our focus is on loving God and doing his will, we will do the right thing, and love others. If we are self-focused, we will not be so concerned about others or pleasing God. I am trying not to be resentful; but, the reality is--it is there. Our three daughters are a blessing and do what they can, the oldest commits to once a week, and brings her infant. If you are a Christian, it helps to pray for the others who do not do the above. I email an update on Gram every month, hoping that some of the other relatives will be convicted just a little and will visit her. My in-laws who talk about the importance of family, have seen my mother 3 times in the last year as well. Hats off to the caregivers who pray/visit/encourage/love/support/are patient/bring things to the facility/take them away/go on outings/grieve/cry/say hello and say good-bye...only to come back and do it all again at the next visit! :)
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i agree with alma, do what you need to do for you, not for drama filled relatives. its hard enough to do things on a daily basis, you sure dont need added baggage of others fighting..
stay strong, spend your energy wisely. ( im learning that one myself right now)
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(Hit submit by mistake)...When holidays came around, all feet, grands, great grands were under mom's table, ate, drank and left merry. Same for birthdays, mom never missed theirs but now everyone is too busy to come visit once a qtr or send a card unless I ask them too. ( why????)

Bonnieadams59, I was wrought wiht bitterness, I'm still hurt for mom and dad, I know everyone has their problems, issues, etc and so do I. How do I manage? I manage thru prayer and thanksgiving, to each their own but this is how I get through my days. If I dwelled on what "they are not doing" I may have been under lock and key a few mos ago!

Focus on your mother's care, day by day you will be able to look only at yourself and know...you did alright. Sometimes alone is better,

Rest and well wishes,
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brandywine1949, well at least you visit regularly and call 3 times a week! If my oldest and only sibiling call 3 times a month it's a miracle. Both of my Parents are in N.H. nearby me, my sis lives 3 hrs away and hasn't been here in hummm lets see her birthday last yr Sept 3. And she came then to reap the goodies that Mom bribed her with. Well guess what...there aint no more goodies! So lets see if she makes it this yr.
It's so hurtful, and so disgusting to know that people can actually turn their love off from a good to the bone parent. Yes my Mom can be a handfull with her constant worrying and complaining but it didn't seem to bother anyone when
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It may seem like I am the selfish one. But I like I have said in an earlier post, I do what I can. I visit Mom once a week, I call her 3 x a week. My sister says I am the selfish one, but if you look deeper you will see what I am up against. My husband has dementia, I still work part time despite the fact that I am disabled and in constant pain. I myself, am old. Mom had me when she was very young. I privately pay my own health insurance which has a $10,000 deductible with high premiums. When I try to help Mom it does no good, because Mom won't listen to me, just sister. When the holidays roll around, sister will not invite me to her home which is just minutes away from mine. But when sister wants something from me she wants me to jump to do it. But when I want something from her, its no dice. I'd be a lot more cooperative if she would invite me to her house for the holidays or she'd come to mine. So there you have it from the so called selfish one. I am doing the best I can with what I have.
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Madge - I believe the brothers wanted Mom in a nursing home to ensure they would not have to be bothered again. Neither of my brothers had much to do with mom after leaving home. She was (and still is, though now in a different way) not a very 'nice' person. Jealous, selfish, demanding and given to fits of paranoid rage. Her own parents realized this about Mom - warning my dad before he married her...

I and my adult daughter remained close to Mom because someone had to - and we took her into our care because it was the right thing to do.

Having lost in their bid to have her 'put away', their attention turned to her money and her property. "They must be doing it for the money" - for why else would we?

I miss my brothers in my life, but I also feel sorry for them, and I wouldn't want to be them.
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It amazes me that people who don't want to devote a moment of their lives to the care of the elderly parents still feel like they are somehow ENTITLED to half of whatever they have in the bank! They even get testy if the old folks are spending to much of their inheritance. LOL
I am the POA of my mom -Durable, Medical and Financial. I live in the same town with her and even though I work full time and my husband works full time I inherited the job of taking care of mom. I am actually listed as her beneficiary because my mom said that since I am the one doing all the work I should be the one that benefits if there is anything left to benefit. My mom did this on her own when I first started taking care of her and she visited with the attorney alone so that they knew she was not under pressure from me. My sister lives about 2 hours away and calls my mom maybe every other month and she might see them for a few hours a couple of times a year. She has begged them to let her come spend a week with them but they say no or just ignore her pleading. Their don't want to leave her alone while they are at work. She lives alone right now....so what would be the difference? The sad thing is that she is plenty alert enough to know that they just don't want to bother with her. I have offered to bring her to them and get no response.
Anyway, I am sure that if she were to pass away tomorrow I would definitely hear from the family. We just sold her house so we don't have that problem anymore but I am sure if there is money in the bank when she goes they will expect some of it. Mom certainly doesn't owe them or the grandchildren anything so the fact that some people just expect an inheritance is rediculous.
Money does bring out the worst in people so I hope mom lives long enough to enjoy the money she has and not so long that she is totally unhappy.
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Mariesmom, If your brothers are concerned only about money, why on earth would they want to put your Mom in a nursing home. Talk about expensive! Nursing homes usually pretty much clean you out if the parent is in one long enough. I am not sure I understand what your brothers are really complaining about unless it is the loss of control. Sometimes guys think they have to be in charge. Take care
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Ditto to all above.

I have lost my brothers because I and my adult daughter resisted their efforts to put her in a nursing home and are for her at home instead. All they cared about was the money, and when they realized Mom had given me POA, they blew up.

I used to send them pictures and long email updates on Mom and her care - but their return letters were always about the money I was spending. How dare I put a new heating and air system in her house? What was I thinking buying her a new refrigerator or washing machine? What was the poihnt or pulling up 40 yr old carpet and replacing it with new?

After 4 yrs of rejection and heartbreak, I finally just gave up.

My daughter, and now I, have given up a great deal of our own lives to care for a woman who doesn't even know who we are. It's the hardest thing I've ever done - and yet when I do lay my head down at night I know I've done right by my mother.
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My brother and sisters very seldom visit on their own. So the only way to keep them involved is to give them jobs that require them to come out to where dad lives with me. My one sister lives out of state so I don't see her much at all and when dad asks to go home with her, well you know the answer. The other sister is the one who has to fill the pill trays. Used to be two now there are three so the visits are farther apart, but she gets a call if she doesn't show up on time! The brother takes care of dad financial matters so he has to either send the rent in the mail or bring it out in person. All of them go "away" quite often. So I never quite know when they are in town and when they aren't, and they like to keep it a secret when and where they are going. Heaven forbit if one of us that is home taking care of dad should find out. Any way dad lives with me and my husband and we have not gone anywhere in three years. I found out that there is respite care for caregivers through the VA. When we find out more we may just take a day off. This is how I handle the situation with family!
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I have no help with my mom, my brother refuses to help. My moms in moderate Alzheimers, when is it time to have her in nursing home and how can I get her help? She wont come live with me. Need advice!
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Suggestion, there is a website for caregivers to create an info account for their loved one to keep all informed. My attitude was "I keep Mom alive, but I am not doing your relationship with her as well."

You can within your own facebook account create a group, secret one, and messages will go only to those in the group, like family members, respite caregivers, etc. The messages are generally forwarded to email boxes.

Within the secret group, you can create documents for resource information, photo albums, etc. The posts do show up on your own wall, but they are not seen by other friends not in the group. This gives a history of what transpired. Be careful of venting here, but you could document what happened during the hours during work and when you were on duty.

And remember, where you have your own family to help, and your own incomes, there are those sole caregivers are on often 24/7, with little respite. Time off spent running errands. Whatever you think your hardships, you'll find many who will make your gig sound like a walk in the park.
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I too am in your shoes. There are 4 of us kids and I am an only child when it comes to taking care of our dad. Dad is in the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease and has prominent bouts of dementia and also from another health issue.
If I had not stepped in about 8 years ago, when I got a call from the police finding my dad in the middle of the street (which I later realized) was acting out a hallucination he was experiencing, he would not be here today. Until this episode, I had not realized how far along my dad was with Parkinson's. At that time, one of my brothers was living with him. Which later I found out was only mooching off of my dad and living rent free and care free. When I asked him about what was really going on in the home, his only response was "I don't know, I just go to work and come home".
When I took my dad to live with me until I could look into and set up whatever resources were available, I was preparing for the long haul. I mad lite mention of sharing dad throughout the year, having him come live with each of us 3 months out of the year. When I saw their reactions and got their responses to this suggestion, I knew at that moment, I was the only one taking this journey.
So I pushed on and did what I needed to do to take care of my dad. He & I went and got POA for me, he already had my name on financial accounts, got his doctors down to 1 primary and 2 “support” specialists and got him down to only the meds that are necessary. I ultimately ended up moving me & my daughter & my husband (2nd marriage) into his house. He was so much more comfortable in his own home & I could no longer manage 2 households. Over the past almost 2 years he requires constant supervision. Luckily I have a sister-in-law who takes care of him during the day while my husband & I are at work. She gets paid for this (mostly) through a program my dad was fortunate enough to get & we supplement the rest of her pay. But after 5pm & on weekends, it’s us.
I only alert my siblings if dad ends up in ER or staying in the hospital and give them the phone # of the hospital. It is on them to call for info if that is what they desire. I am not the 411 info center nor do I have the time or energy to call everyone and keep repeating the same info.
Bottom line, do what you need to do for you and your mom. If you know in your heart that what you are doing is right, then sleep well at night. Let the chips fall where they may with your siblings and other family members. I know I am setting a great example for my daughter and I do sleep well every night (well, at least if my dad doesn’t wake up at 2:30am, LOL). :)
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I have taken care of my mother and brother (autistic) for several years. I recently had to place my mom in a foster care, as I couldn't lift her any more. My brother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given six to nine months. I moved him into my home and hospice (bless them) came in. He died just a few days ago and I am taking care of the final responsibilities. I miss him terribly, as well as my mother. I go to see her once a week and she is starting to fail. Our family is very small and I wonder if I expect too much of them. I only wonder what my lot will be when it is my turn and I need help. Young people forget that they too will be facing this some day.
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I agree with everyone who says that "what goes around, comes around". I sometimes get very frustrated taking care of Mom (dementia) but not very often anymore. Once I realized that my family was not going to help and I was on my own I was able to let go of my ,hatred, jealously ??? what ever you want to call it, and just try to help my Mother. She is so afraid most of the time, she realizes her memomy is fading and everyday she has to be reassured that I will be there for her. It is very sad when she asks me why her other children never come, sometimes I lie and say they were just here, or they are coming tomorrow, she won't remember. But like many have said when the day comes that my mom closes her eyes for good, I will be sad but I don't think I will cry, only because I will know her fear is over and I did everything I could for her. I know how hard it is, you give up your home, time, sanity but as some said my sons have watched and grown up with Nana and have watched their mother take care of her. I truely believe my sons will be better men for it. Thay are very kind and protective of her, will listen to the same story over and over. This is a life lesson that can't be read about but has to be lived. I am so greatful for the chance to pay back a little of what my mother did for me. To All caretakers out there, Be Strong, Be Brave and Smile, we only get one ride on this Merry go Round:)
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I live 7 hours away from my mom but call her every day. My brother wont help her cause he is lost in his own world.
My mom has Alzheimers and each day is gets harder. Im thankful for all shes done for me and will be apart of her life till end. I have tried to get my brother to call or visit but no help there. His lost and I dont feel he needs to know anything about her anymore. Awful, yes but his choice. When she is gone I will have pictures and memories of the times shes been here and visits we have had. Shes happy in her safe zone so cannot live her. I pray when the time comes to have a nurse with her I am able to leave my Three children to help her. I love my mom and feel sorry for those who dont put the effort to help their parents when they need you. All those that do God bless you! In the end you will be glad!
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