When I first met her, I could tell, even through her tired, sagging exterior, that she had a vital heart beating inside. She had once been a grande dame – reminding me of my beautiful, if uppity and sarcastic, Grandmere.  
Her shoulders slumped, she looked neglected and care-worn. I worried about her spirit, but was hoping that meeting me, us – because I was married back then and full of love and hope and a bright, endless future – would help her get back on her feet.
We worked with her methodically, coaxing her to remove the old black linoleum shoes and put on shining new wooden ones. We got rid of the omnipresent white and faded pastels that might as well have been white, and dressed her up with a buttery sunshine yellow and hunter green, plus two shades of earthy rose, and, my favorite, a deep cerise.  
We convinced her to meet with specialists and move beyond ages old technology and, soon enough, she was full of light and warmth. She struggled with certain delicate bathroom issues… but we allowed that an old lady is going to have to concede to her age with some things.
Her coif was quite worn and needed some serious help. With a major investment and a team of stylists, they were able to make her look her age, but oh so fashionable and also, cover any bald spots.
We surrounded her with flowers, with the vegetables she loved. We brought our puppies to see her until they were grown and they, too, loved her.  
When I left, before she was fully transformed, and I was essentially starting my own journey of self-transformation, she was in need of some new teeth – sitting with her mouth propped open, awaiting new dentures – but I was thrilled to hear my ex had helped her out – finished with a new brightly covered coat and, now, his own family to share with her.
**In my Muses writing group lead by Jena Schwartz on Facebook, the prompt was to write about somewhere you’d lived as if it was an ex – or in some way write about a former home.


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