This woman raised me. I was the last one she had in her care, after years of kids and grandkids and any relative or loved one that needed caring for. She was fiery, as you'd expect from a redhead, and she was stubborn as all hell. We would have some stubborn show-downs, if you can imagine my 6-year-old self standing pensive and determined, hands on hips and topless. But, of course, we also loved each other deeply. She was my mother. She took the role proudly and lovingly and wholeheartedly, while still keeping respect for what place my actual Mom had in my life. She taught me how to dress. She taught me to bake and sew. She always used her nice teacups and saucers for company, even with unexpected guests just stopping by for a chat. She did holidays like no one's business and made us dinner from scratch almost every single night. With her incredible temper she also had an endless amount of patience. She was the epitome of a strong, independent woman in the role of homemaker. She ran that ish. She ran that ish right. I have a few pictures of her and, lucky for me, most of them are candid shots of her smiling or laughing. She was sensitive and proud of her home and family. The house was always relatively clean, everyone well-fed, and she made it look like she loved doing it all. She attended every single school assembly and played ragtime on the piano. Basically, she was rad. I refer to her often (in my thoughts at least) and I'm sure I idealize her since I was just barely a teenager when she passed. Still, I wish to emulate her in her best qualities. Even in her sensitivity, I suppose.