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Aug 31, 2013

Saying Good-bye to Michael's Mom



Sad news: On Saturday, August 24th, Michael's mother, Dorcas Hanko, died.

Dorcas had been living with lung cancer for more than a year.  A diagnosis (Stage 4) that would have devastated most was, for Dorcas, a challenge to be met head on.  She fought valiantly and never gave up hope.  During her final year she got to do the things she loved best: travel, cook, garden, spend time with her family, and even see Michael perform his show twice.  Till this summer, she had more energy than most healthy people.

The end was swift: her doctors recommended palliative care on Thursday and she passed peacefully Saturday morning.  Yesterday her ashes were interred at a military cemetery in New Jersey.

It wasn't until I started digging for photos for this post that I realized how much time I've spent with Michael's family over the years.  We visited his parents nearly every major holiday and they even came to my brother's wedding.

At the Finger Lakes

Brunch in Chelsea

At my brother's wedding, with my mom

Even though I knew Dorcas for only a decade, her passing leaves a big absence in my life.  Dorcas was hugely supportive and enthusiastic about everything I did.  When I started sewing, there wasn't anything I made that she didn't find "awesome."  She wore the beige fleece hoodie I made her in 2009 almost every time I visited.  She even subscribed to my blog!



When she and Michael's dad sold their house this spring, guess who got her circa 1969 Kenmore sewing machine?  Two years ago she also gave me these wonderful 1940's fashion drawings she'd found: 

 



Dorcas had a beautiful spirit, an open heart, and was just fun to be around.  I'll never forget how, every time we parted, she'd say how thankful she was to have me in the family.  I feel grateful for having gotten to know and love her.

Always up for fun!

Good-bye, dear Dorcas!



128 comments:

  1. My sympathies to you and Michael and Michael's family.

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  2. I am so sorry for your and Michael's loss! May she rest in peace.

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  3. Very sad news. I am glad the end came swiftly. She looks so young and beautiful! My condolences to both you and Michael.

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  4. My condolences to the family. She sounds like a wonderful person.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute. Your "voice" lately has hinted that something difficult was happening behind the scenes. Sincere condolences to Michael, and to you, as well.

    ~From a daily reader, rare commenter

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  6. Oh, I am SO sorry to hear this. Michael and Peter: I'm giving you my positive vibes. Dorcas was obviously a beautiful and vibrant person. xo

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  7. My heartfelt sympathy to you and Michael.

    Spud.

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  8. aw...so so sorry to hear such a bright light in your life has dimmed. She still has a soft glow in your heart, I'm sure. Sending condolences to you and Michael and family.

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  9. So sorry to hear about the loss of Michael's Mom!

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  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. She seems like a wonderful woman.

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  11. So sorry to hear this. I have you and Michael in my thoughts. What a wonderful tribute.

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  12. Terribly sad news. Dorcas looks so vibrant and intelligent and fun in the photos it hardly seems possible she was battling a serious disease. Thank you for the lovely tribute. Sending warm thoughts to you, Michael and your two families.

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you, Michael, and your families.

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  14. What a terrible loss for Michael and the remaining family. Cancer is a hideous disease that takes so many lives. May the peace which comes from memories comfort you now and in the days ahead

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  15. Sorry to read the sad news, you wrote a beautiful tribute. Condolences to you and Michael and your families.

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  16. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Hugs to you both. It seems the world was a brighter place with Dorcas in it.

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  17. Condolences to Michael and you. She sounds like she was a true gem. What a lovely tribute.

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  18. What a moving and inspiring tribute, Peter. "All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love." (Tolstoy) . . . to have a mother who lives from that foundation, what an endless gift and a great loss for Michael.

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  19. So sorry to hear that Michael's mom passed away! She sounds like a fabulous lady!

    A huge loss for the whole family!

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  20. My deep sympathy to you, Peter, and to Michael. Much joy in what you have written about a truly lovely woman. I keep you both in my heart, as well as Michael's other family.

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  21. What a beautiful tribute--Dorcas seems to have been nothing short of wonderful. My sympathies to you and Michael, and all of your families.

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  22. Peter-I'm so sorry about Michael's Mom. She sounds like a wonderful person and I'm so glad she got to do all those things this past year.

    Love, Selene

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  23. My thoughts are with you, Michael and the rest of the family. Your tribute to her shows what a wonderful woman she was and thank you for sharing with your online family. May you always treasure your memories of her.

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  24. What a rare and beautiful thing when our in-laws are such a lovely and happy part of our lives. I am so sad for your loss.

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  25. my sincerest condolences. so very glad for the happy memories

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  26. Condolences to you and MIchael. She sounds like a special lady.

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  27. I'm sorry to hear of Michael's and your loss, but I'm glad she was in your life for 10 years. She sounds a lot like my MIL, who died 4 years ago. I miss her every day. When I really miss her a lot, I think about what she would have done- hugged me long and hard and then get on with it. Hope The memories of Dorcas help you through, too.

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  28. My heart is with you right now. Your tribute speaks to how special she was - many blessings on both of your families.

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  29. My sincerest sympathies for you and Michael. I know the good memories will always be in your hearts. God bless.

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  30. My condolences to you and Michael. I remember when you posted the pictures of you all playing dress-up in the house coat and feathers and thinking at the time what a wonderful relationship you must all have.
    G x

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  31. My condolences to you and Michael.
    Words can't express how it feels to lose someone who brought so much happiness in your life.

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  32. She seems like a wonderful person. All the strength to you, Michael and everyone else who knew her!

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  33. Your tribute speaks just how special Dorcas was in your lives. Her memory will live with each of you ... J

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  34. I'm so sorry for your (and Michael's) loss. She sounds fabulous and your tribute to her is beautiful.

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  35. what a nice and sweet tribute... makes me almost cry... my sympathy to Michael and you...

    warmest regards from Germany

    Andrea

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  36. It sounds like she lived life to the fullest. What a gift she gave you all. Our thoughts are with you.
    A.

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  37. Condolences to Michael and you x

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  38. How lucky you are to have a mother in law who accepted you as a part of the family like that. It is already hard to get accepted by the in-laws in general, I imagine that can be extra valuable when you are gay. I am as fortunate to have had a mother in law who accepted me almost like a second daughter, but am also as unfortunate to have lost her to cancer. You have given her a lovely tribute. My sincerest sympathies to you and Michael.

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  39. Sincere condolences to Miichael and you, Peter.

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  40. so very sorry. What a wonderful person to have in your lives! Viva Dorcas!

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  41. My sincerest sympathies to you and Michael ,you have given her a beautiful tribute

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  42. SeamsterEast@aol.comSeptember 1, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  43. This is a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady. Peace be with you both in this time of loss.

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  44. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us at this very sad time; Dorcas sets an inspiring example of living and loving. I'm very sorry for your loss.

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  45. I'm so sorry to hear sad news. This was a lovely post, nonetheless. Condolences to all who knew and loved her.

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  46. I'm sorry for your loss. My sympathies to Michael and you.

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  47. I am so sorry for your family's loss. This was a truly beautiful post. I didn't even know her, and you made me cry with this loving tribute. Peace to Michael, you and your families....

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  48. I'm so sorry Peter and Michael. I lost my mother in March, so I know what you two are going through right now.

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  49. She sounds like a beautiful lady in personality and spirit. Michael definitely looks like her. My condolences to all who loved her!

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  50. So sorry, all the best for all of you!

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  51. My sincere condolences. What an honorable post. Military cemetary? Was she a veteran? --Katharine in Brussels

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    Replies
    1. My dad (who is still living) retired as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

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    2. I lost my father a few years ago. I still talk to him everyday. Michael, God bless you and your mother.

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  52. What a lovely tribute. I know you will be giving Michael loving support and hope that friends and family do the same for both of you.

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  53. My heart hurts for both you and Michael today. So sad to hear of your loss. Big hugs while you go through this sad time.

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  54. My condolences to you and Michael. What a beautiful tribute to Dorcas.

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  55. What a wonderful tribute to a loving mother and mother-in-law. I know you and Michael will miss her greatly. But you know, I bet she left a bit of herself in your partner: a mannerism, a way of looking at things; a family tradition that she carried on and that her son still does. If you look around, you will still find her with you. My condolences to your family.

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  56. What a beautiful tribute to Michael's Mom. My condolences to both of you.

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  57. I'm so very sorry to hear this. I'll be thinking about you two and the rest of Michael's family.

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  58. What wonderful memories. It's a blessing to be welcome in your partner's family. HUGS to both Michael and you.

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  59. Michael and Peter,
    My condolences to you and your family.
    A beautiful tribute and joyous memories.
    My thoughts are with you.

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  60. Thank you, everybody, for your heartwarming show of support and condolence. It means a lot at a time like this to know others are thinking of us. I will miss my mom terribly, but rejoice that she lived such a full, joyous life.

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  61. I'm very sorry for your loss, Michael and Peter ... she sounds like a lovely person ...

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  62. A beautiful tribute Peter, my heartfelt sympathy to both you and Michael

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  63. My deepest sympathies to you and Michael. No doubt she will be greatly missed. Her memory will live on in your hearts.

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  64. sending so much love to you & Michael. What a beautiful spirit she was and what a lovely tribute to her.

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  65. Our love and thoughts are with you, Michael and your family. What a touching tribute, and what a fun, beautiful lady she was. Thanks for letting us share and celebrate her with all the great pictures. xo

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  66. I'm so very sorry to hear this sad news Peter. My deepest sympathies to you and, of course, to dear Michael. Thinking of you both. xx

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  67. My sympathies to you and Michael. She looks like a wonderful and loving woman from what I read. Michael looks a lot like her! All the best to you two and your family.

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  68. I'm so sorry for your loss. She looked like a really fun person to know. Very touching memorial.

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  69. A sweet send off to an obviously wonderful person. My sympathies to you, Michael and your families.

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  70. Dear Peter and Michael - as an avid reader of MPB I feel privileged to share in your family life. This is such sad news and I feel for you both. My best wishes.

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  71. I am so sorry for Michael's and your loss. This post is such a wonderful tribute for some one who clearly was amazing.

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  72. I'm so sorry for Michael's and your loss. Your heartfelt tribute to her is lovely.

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  73. So very sorry to hear of your mother's passing,Michael. That is a beautiful tribute that Peter shared online. Condolences to the both of you and all the family.

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  74. Peace to you and your family.

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  75. Oh, dear. I AM sorry. Losing a parent, even when it was expected is hard. Your parents are a part of who you are, and losing them is, in a sense, losing a link with your past. It's a loss of a type of security and unconditional love.

    No matter how you slice it, a loss like this sucks.

    Michael has my deepest sympathy.

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  76. I'm so sorry for your loss-- such a beautiful woman.

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  77. A lovely and very touching tribute, Peter. All my sympathy to you both and family.

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  78. Very sorry for Michael's and your loss. I see where Michael got his bright blue eyes!

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  79. As others have said, Michael's beautiful eyes are from his mom. So sorry to hear of the loss of a dear loved one.

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  80. Please accept my condolences to you and Michael and to Michael's family. She sounds like she was a lovely person.

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  81. So sorry to hear about your loss! My condolences to you and Michael and your family.

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  82. My most heartfelt sympathy to you and Michael.

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  83. You have written such a beautiful tribute to Michael's mother. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  84. I'm so sorry for your loss! You and Sara and the rest of your family are in my prayers. May she rest in peace. Or get up and party, as it were. <3

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  85. Many prayers for Michael. You were lucky to have such a mom!!

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  86. Your loving tribute and heartfelt adieu brought tears to my eyes. Big hugs to you and Michael. I am sorry for your loss

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  87. So sorry to hear about your loss. I too am touched by your loving tribute. She must have been a wonderful person to inspire such great words.

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  88. This is so sad to read. You have written a loving tribute. My prayers to you both in your grieving.

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  89. What a loving post! Dorcas sounds like a wonderful woman. Please give Michael a hug from me. You both have my sincerest condolences.

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  90. what a wonderful tribute to a woman who was obviously a wonderful mom to Michael and friend to you, dearest Peter. regards.

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  91. She looked like a lovely lady. I give both of you my most sincere condolences.

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  92. What a lovely tribute! I'm sorry for Michael's and your loss. It seems she left you with some great memories and wonderful legacy!

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  93. My sympathies to Michael and to you on the loss of a mother and friend.

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  94. My condolences to Michael, you, and all your family.

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  95. Dear Michael and Peter, I am so very sorry for your loss. May you all find peace in your dear mother's passing. I will be thinking of you and holding a good thought as you grieve. Blessings, Chris

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  96. Oh, Peter -- my heart goes out to you, Michael, and to all of your family. What a wonderful blessing to have had Dorcas in your lives.

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  97. My sincerest sympathy to you both during this difficult time. She was obviously an amazing woman with an unforgettable smile. May the memories of all the good times help you through the days ahead.

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  98. Sending you my sympathies to you and Michael.

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  99. So sorry for both your and Michael's loss.

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  100. You wrote a beautiful tribute to Dorcas who sounds like someone I'd love to have known, such a lovely person and loving presence in your lives. My condolences to you both.

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  101. My condolences to you both. Sorry for your loss, but I know you will have many happy memories to share with each other. My husband and I still giggle at shared memories of my dad - now gone 13 years! Those memories mean everything.

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  102. Condolences to you and Michael on the loss of his Mom. She was beautiful, and there must be a lot of her in Michael since they look so much alike. My you find comfort in your family and friends.

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  103. My condolences to you both. Thank you for celebrating her life with us. Sometimes words aren't adequate...but I'm sorry for your loss and pain.

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  104. I'm so very sad to hear this. I always thought both your mums are fantastic, so full of fun and joy. My mum died for the same reason 18 years ago, but fought with such unbelievable bravery and spirit, it's what I've come to remember her and be inspires by. All my love to you and Michael.
    Petra

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  105. I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you both.

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  106. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Michael,and your extended family. Your post is a loving tribute though to somebody who you all so obviously loved.

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  107. much love to you both, and to your whole family.

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  108. Such sad news, my condolences to you and Michael. The pictures and memories you shared are a lovely tribute to her. At my great aunt's funeral, her son in law spoke saying he never understood jokes where the mother in law was the punch line, he couldn't relate because she was always a lovely person. It sounds like you were also blessed with a fabulous mother in law.

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  109. Sending you and Michael lots of love.

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  110. What a dame!!!!!

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  111. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, much love to the both of you ♥

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  112. I am so sorry to hear your news. My thoughts are with you and your family. I think it's wonderful that you had such a good relationship. Hold the memories in your heart.

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  113. My sincere condolences, Peter and Michael. Dorcas seemed to be a beautiful person who will be missed by all those who had a chance to know her.
    Bon courage dans ces moments difficiles.

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  114. My very biggest hugs. Your sweet words made me hope that my son someday (and not too soon!!) says the same delicious things about me. Blessings-----

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  115. Dear Michael and Peter, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you both.

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  116. I am sorry for your loss.

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  117. My condolences to you both. What a lovely person!

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  118. What a beautiful tribute. I can see that she deeply touched your life. I'm so sorry, both for you and for Michael.

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  119. My thoughts, prayers and hugs to you both for your loss. Losing any family member is hard, but so much more so when it's your mom.

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  120. My sympathies to Michael and you.

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  121. Such sad news indeed.
    My heartfelt condolences to you both on such a sad loss.

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  122. Thoughts and prayers to you at this time.

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  123. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a completely awesome person. All the best to you both. Hugs.

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