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Gratitude ~ When Lives Collide..

Updated on December 4, 2012

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” Albert Clark

This is the true story of two women. They come from two very different worlds, but - as the chaos and unpredictability of life is wont to do - are thrown together in a time and space where their lives suddenly collide..

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.” Joseph Brotherton

Zee came from adoration and wealth..

She was born into a well-known wealthy family to older parents, and was - as far as they were concerned - God's gift straight from heaven! Zee had never known what 'WANT' felt like - and certainly not 'NEED'!

She had the full run of a large, staffed, opulently appointed home. Descriptions of it's decor included adjectives such as: 'Over-the-top', 'unrefined', and 'crass' - along with 'very expensive' - of course!

Her parents didn't believe that their princess required manners OR discipline - and her life revolved around private schools, travel, shopping - and VEGAS! Yes, her impulsive, flamboyant daddy loved to gamble and - back in the day - was treated like royalty in Vegas!

He started taking his baby girl there before she was ten years old, and it wasn't uncommon for him to calm one of her oft-thrown tantrums with a quick zip to Sin City or Lake Tahoe!

Zee never held a position of employment and in her late fifties - while she was off living in Europe with her fourth husband - her mother took ill. In her absence, her parents made the decision to down-size and purchase a nice two-bedroom condo.

They proceeded to stuff it FULL of leather and granite and china and artwork.

And then they DIED...

Ell came from abuse and neglect..

She was born the second of two daughters to a mother who was not yet 20 - and a father who had never wanted children. When he found out that he was going to be a father, he first gave Ell's mama-to-be a black eye - THEN he demanded a boy!

It had not yet been discovered that the sex of the child is determined SOLELY by the man - and Ell's daddy was righteous in his bruising anger! After all, his wife dared to disobey him - TWICE!

Ell's young life was one that rarely saw a fresh flower or a kind word. Where cupboards were more often empty than not. Where no one encouraged ambition or displayed affection. Where rarely did anyone cook - OR clean..

Where the tall, skinny sister wore the same clothes as the shorter, heavier sister..

It was a life where the wetting of beds and the sucking of thumbs were but small indicators of the true level of fear, confusion - and abuse!

When Ell was just fourteen years of age, she left home armed with nothing but a talent - and her life took on an entirely new direction./

After years of working two - sometimes THREE jobs at one time - Ell found her niche in sales, and she and her children moved into a nice two-bedroom condo!

She proceeded to furnish it sparingly - but lovingly!

These two divergent life paths intersected suddenly on a beautiful summer's day at the condominium's swimming pool - where Zee was sobbing uncontrollably..

While groups of shocked and uncomfortable sun-worshippers did their best to not stare - Ell pulled up a chair beside Zee and asked if there was anything she could do to help...

Here's what was spat into her face: "YES - you can help! You can f***ing kill me right here and now!"

"I can't BELIEVE that my parents went and died and left me HERE - in this HELL HOLE! I HATE them for doing this to me and I'll NEVER forgive them."

"And - I can't do a thing about it! I'm on a f***ing allowance from a f***ing trust fund that my idiot uncle is in charge of - and - HE HATES ME!"

"I'm barely going to be able to stay in Mexico for a month this winter - then I'll be stuck freezing my ass off HERE for the rest of it! They couldn't even move to somewhere that had UNDERGROUND PARKING or an ELEVATOR"

"I'm putting diapers on my parent's mutt, (Poodles, the cowering animal on her lap), cause I'm sure as hell not running up and down two flights of stairs every time IT has to pee"...

That's all Ell heard as she rose and started to slowly meander back to her home...her warm, safe haven...her tiny piece of heaven that she couldn't be prouder of..


True story - not one f***ing word of a lie!

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.”



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