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Death of my father-in-law yesterday got me reflecting again on life and the loss of parents. It's funny, as a kid, you're cared for by gods, even as you get older and push away in adolescence they're still there, taking care of you (whether you want them to or not). We grow into adulthood and in many ways they're needed less, but you appreciate the relationship and respect their place in the family hierarchy. It's like an umbrella over you...

Losing them changes all that. Besides the personal loss, it has felt to me like you've lost that umbrella and have been thrust up to the next level... Losing one parent is less intense, but losing both leaves you feeling in a way like you're standing on a rock in the elements with nothing to protect you. It's just a feeling for the most part....most of the time we've been standing quite well on our own. But you've lost the one who's known you longer than anyone, a family historian and often helpful advisor.

I think Mrs. fledermaus is in the midst of that now.... my dad's been gone nearly 3 decades and I remember having this thought of "oldest surviving male" run through my head, wherever I got that from. He's still missed in many ways. Sucks to be young and stupid and not have all you questions laid out... Not looking forward to losing my mother.

It's all pretty much inevitable, unless you have the misfortune of dying young....
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One of my very best friends died at 32 from juvenile diabetes complications. I found him dead on his apartment floor and had to call his Mom. Worst day of my life.

I remember her telling me that parents should not outlive their children.

This past winter we lost my older brother and then my Mom.

What you said about the "misfortune of dying young" is spot on.

I remember having a talk with my Mom several years ago about my own kids and realizing that as they grow up the worries and concerns don't go away, they just change. She said to me, "Well, I still worry about you." I was flabbergasted. In my adult life I have had an unblemished record of being undeniably self sufficient. But she was right; it's what parents do.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. Except I get what you're saying. Dad's still kicking, but I know he won't be around forever. If I type any more I'll just be babbling (more).

Very sorry for your loss.
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One of the worst thing about loosing parents is thinking of all the things you wish you had thought to ask them and write it down or better record it on tape for future generations.

I lost both my parents about a year apart a few years back, my first wife lost both hers and my second wife lost her mom before I had the chance to meet her and her dad and step mom both passed away within a few weeks of each other just a few years back.

Just as bad and in some ways worse is loosing grandparents.

Mom's dad passed while mom was in high school. I did have a little chance to know mom's mother but she passed when I was only nine. Dad's parents were still in Minnesota, so living here in Central NY I had little chance to know his father as he passed the year after I spent a summer there when eleven. Did have the chance to see dad's mom a few times before she passed when I was thirty four.

Of the things I wish I knew was about the death of great grandfather on moms side, he died at age 35-36 in1898 in Manchester Lancaster England. Only thing I see in some papers from mom is a note saying "murdered" next to his name. His son, my grandfather was only 12 at the time!
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UTC quote
I lost my father 30 years ago and my mother 10 years ago. I have recently been building a family tree on Ancestry.com. It has sharply reminded me that there are many questions I should have asked and experiences I should have discussed when it was still possible.
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seamus26 wrote:
I don't know what I'm trying to say. Except I get what you're saying. Dad's still kicking, but I know he won't be around forever. If I type any more I'll just be babbling (more).

Well, you're making sense anyway. One of my aunts died at 42 and my grandfather said it's the worst thing he had to deal with. And that's after losing his wife.....

I'd give anything to have a chat with my grandparents and great grandparents from the perspective I have now. Some good stories, I'm sure. Not all good, but interesting. And it's funny how things creep forward into subsequent generations. I'm sure family therapists would have a gold mine with some of that....
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Thanks, all, for the condolences. I know, it's always awkward, and not much to really say. But it counts.
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I lost my dad four years ago this month. crushing doesn't even begin to describe it.

to lose not only a parent, but a friend and confidant and partner in crime all in one go was just devastating. it was immediate. unforeseen. and, thankfully painless.

I have so many fond memories: having a beer and watching the ball game at my shitty local bar (he was by FAR the best dressed person there), working on cars, doing house or yard work, debating the difference between the written word and the spoken word (he did both for a living). trading books back and forth. him offering me a $20 for two $5's all that nonsense.

but one of my favorites will always remain him cackling with glee while doing double the speed limit, up hwy 1 near point mugu, in the middle of the night in a car that I had built for a client and was shaking down. and then, him snatching the keys at a gas stop and deadpanning to me: my turn.

my dad was, is and shall always remain ridiculous. and the best dressed person at whatever joint we stop in.

tell the people you love that you love them. you never know when it'll be the last time.
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fledermaus wrote:
Thanks, all, for the condolences. I know, it's always awkward, and not much to really say. But it counts.
I'll pour a brandy and make some Mac & cheese (not from a box) in your honor tonight.

talking about it helps, so feel free to barf it all up if need be. we'll all be here.
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My Dad died 3 1/2 years ago and there isn't a day goes by that I don't miss him or want to discuss some cool thing with him. It ain't easy.
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Condolences, I was lucky enough to know my grandparents except one of my two grandmothers who was killed during the landing of Anzio. My father died six years ago and as the eldest son (there are four of us) I remained the support of my elderly mother. What to say? I miss Dad so much, we were partners at work and he was my best friend.
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Sorry about your loss fledermaus

My Dad was always my go to for advice on anything. I remember, and now cherish the day he *called me* for advice about 15 years ago on some financial matter. Talk about changing of the guard. I lost him last Sept, not due to Covid, but Covid restrictions made his access to timely medical treatments difficult, and as a result he lost his life.

Although I wish we had had more time, I have no regrets for not saying this or that or whatever. Every time we parted, including the last time, I told him I loved him.
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greasy125 wrote:
I'll pour a brandy and make some Mac & cheese (not from a box) in your honor tonight.

talking about it helps, so feel free to barf it all up if need be. we'll all be here.
Not to go OT but have to agree on the "not from a box"! Clap emoticon
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kshansen wrote:
Not to go OT but have to agree on the "not from a box"! Clap emoticon
And what does your partner do for a living?

Oh, he's a mechanic and my personal chef.

(Dr. Mrs. The Greasy, probably)
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Condolences.

It's weird being "the last" of anything. My mom passed when I was 16, my dad a year and a half later - a week after I turned 18. Like many people here have said, it's a real kick in the teeth having to be comfortable with all the questions left unanswered. My grandpa passed two months ago, day after my birthday. He was the last of my antecedents.

Honestly? I still don't think I've come to terms with any of it.
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greasy125 wrote:
And what does your partner do for a living?

Oh, he's a mechanic and my personal chef.

(Dr. Mrs. The Greasy, probably)
Well today I got my butt in gear and made up a batch of Apple Crisp. Wife was a little ticked because I was suppose to have made it yesterday when we got the apples.

To get this kind of back on topic I think I got my interests in cooking from my mom. She encouraged us kids to help out in the kitchen. Only thing I never liked that she would do is when making pot roast she would sneak in some parsnips! When cooked in a pot roast of stew they look like white potatoes. Think the last time I fell for that was in the early 1960's. Some day I might try them again but not sure!
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UTC quote
A dear friend of mine would always say, "The stories are the same, only the addresses are different."

This thread confirms his wisdom.

My heart goes out to Fledermaus all who have suffered loss.

Chris from CLE
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A college girl friend just posted on FB that her mother-in-law passed. She was 91, same age that my Dad would have been. Brought back some feelings of loss even though I didn't know her. However, being 62, I can only hope I have 29 more years! Life is short, that is why I scoot.
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greasy125 wrote:
...tell the people you love that you love them. you never know when it'll be the last time.
Do it EVERY time you part company with each other.
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kshansen wrote:
Well today I got my butt in gear and made up a batch of Apple Crisp. Wife was a little ticked because I was suppose to have made it yesterday when we got the apples.

To get this kind of back on topic I think I got my interests in cooking from my mom. She encouraged us kids to help out in the kitchen. Only thing I never liked that she would do is when making pot roast she would sneak in some parsnips! When cooked in a pot roast of stew they look like white potatoes. Think the last time I fell for that was in the early 1960's. Some day I might try them again but not sure!
I cook roughly eight days a week. But, I always enjoy cooking with my mom. We laugh and retell all the stories and she straight up talks smack about the aunts and cousins.

Being lazy and making jam when the weather is junk is my favorite. Putting on that Sunday simmer and just talking trash with my mom is something I look forward to every week.

She stole my favorite apron just so I'd come over and cook. Which, to be fair is a boss move.
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In 2019 I lost both my parents within the same 5 weeks.

Mum to Cancer which she had for the 4th time and Dad to a knotted bowel while showing the initial signs of Cancer.

That was a challenging month.

You have my sympathies.
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Dave,

Best regards to you and family

My parents have been gone along time. I was fortunate to marry a lady with
wonderful parents that kind of adopted me. They are now gone. My mind turns
to all of them from time to time. During those moments, I kind of thank them.

Mentioned by a previous poster - talk with them, drain them of past history.
I missed doing this with my folks. I did get a chance to speak at length with
an Aunt over several nights. What good rich stuff that went back to 1895 in
her youth in SW Wisconsin.

Again - best to you and your blushing bride. Knowing the both of you, I am
sure those parents would be proud. Even though, you have been known to
lead us on some nasty dirt roads on the scooter trail.

Bob Copeland
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My parents died when I was 44 (Father) and 62 (Mother). We did talk some about family history, but coming from refugee immigrant families on both sides there wasn't much knowledge past a generation or two back. And my dad just wouldn't talk about his life as a kid. My in-laws are gone now too - but that's what happens when you yourself get older. Now I'm the old guy, so I try to take the time to make sure my kids know about my past and my medical history.

One thing. Take the time once every so often to write or update a letter to the kids that explains your history and also tells them where your assets are. Insurance policy info, bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, etc. User names and Passwords, favorite websites, safe combinations, where the spare keys are, where the car titles are (I sign them all when I get them, no dates, and keep them in a safe.) If you have a stash of cash, tell them where it is. If you get a pension, tell them who runs it and how to get in touch with them. If you have a will, tell them where it is. Cleaning up after someone dies is a puzzle in addition to being an emotional train wreck, so make it easy when they clean up after you.
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So sorry to hear that

Lost my mom earlier this year, it's an unimaginable thing, and you don't really understand what that's like till you cross into being in that situation. It's the worst thing that happens to everyone. this is coming from someone who in one year(2014-2015) had his best friend since childhood pass away from a medication interaction, another close friend in school passed away under similar conditions, my bike got stolen, and then I got in a crash on a diffferent bike, this feels worse.

We'd make pickles and stuff together and she spent her time making people things and giving them away. Most graceful person I've ever met. It wasn't a long decline in health or anything. I didn't get to say goodbye, and that's what hurts most about it. She had undiagnosed kidney disease, which may have been noticed had she been able to see a doctor during the pandemic. I doubt being able to say goodbye would make it easier though. She made everyone food that night and went to bed and didn't wake up. My job was a covid hotspot due to their recklessness and I didn't visit home often cause I was worried I'd get her sick, and her health wasn't good and I would call a lot, but I didn't get to hug my mom for the last year I had her around.

I think one of the things that I've realized during it is that they know. That is, it's likely they've lost their parents at some point if you weren't lucky enough to have grandparents, and when you lose them you sorta realize you loved them and looked at them the way you did when you were a kid the whole time. And I think they know that, because I think they feel that.

Unconditional love is a hard thing to be away from even temporarily, and you can of course always show that to people, and your partner is lucky to have someone who has been through this, even if it still is the worst thing. The only people that really helped to talk to for me had been through it.

The rules in life are cruel and unfair, and often times the only people that can make living through them bearable are the people around you. You maybe can't make people live forever but you can make the loss of them meaningful by caring for those that they leave behind, bringing the kindness they showed you into the world. You can give life to their hopes and dreams. Or just pay it forward
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Both of my parents passed away within a year of each other. People would express their condolences to me and I would thank them but tell them my true feelings. My parents lived a rich, full life with both passing at 92 years of age. Up until a couple of years of their passing they had a better social life than mine. Bowling, two ocean cruises a year and weekly gatherings at a senior center.

In 2018 my Mom broke her hip. She and my Dad tumbled dancing a Lindy at a restaurant. They both appeared on the Today show in a segment on long married couples. Dad rode a bike till he was 89. Good health followed them until the end when they just wore out.

I should be so lucky. My attitude about this came from watching my late wife slip away after a two year battle with cancer at age 56. She still had unrealized dreams and plans and lived a much healthier lifestyle than me or my parents. She passed much too soon. As Steve Williams once wrote in his blog, "None of us are getting out of this world alive."

A long life, well lived is nothing to be sad about.
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kz1000ST wrote:
A long life, well lived is nothing to be sad about.
kz,

You are correct. But it still brings sadness. We may be at peace with the fact that a loved one is going to pass. We fully expect that it going to happen. We still are not prepared for it to happen on Tuesday. Suddenly it becomes too real.

Chris from CLE
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My father passed on March 6, 2000.

The next week, everything changed as COVID took over.

He was 95, and had a great life.

As he wore out in the last few years, his life wasn't so great, but he was able to stay home until three days before passing.

My best memory at the end of his life was as the hospice crew were preparing to take him away, we looked at each other. He gave me the sweetest, loving smile I could have ever gotten. I believe that he knew what was happening, and that was his goodbye signal. It was sad but uplifting at the same time.

The next time I saw him, he was unconscious in the hospice bed.

He was an architect, and through watching him and studying his techniques, I learned everything I know about the craft.

We worked together for fifteen years. He let me do most of the design work, even in the early years. I could have never done that in another office.

In addition to that, he was probably the nicest, kindest, calmest person I ever knew.

My mother is now 95, and continues to live by herself in their house.

My three brothers do more to care for her than I do, but a few months ago I started going with her and my brother, David, on Friday lunches. We pick a place and go out, usually dining outside. It has been very rewarding.

Bill
Mom last Friday at the Bearded Pig.
Mom last Friday at the Bearded Pig.
Mom and Dad at his 95th birthday party.
Mom and Dad at his 95th birthday party.
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greasy125 wrote:
I'll pour a brandy and make some Mac & cheese (not from a box) in your honor tonight.

talking about it helps, so feel free to barf it all up if need be. we'll all be here.
^^^This!^^^

Cherish what is worth cherishing and let the rest fade.

My mom was killed in a car accident on Thanksgiving weekend of '08, at 59. My dad went in '14, two weeks after his 63rd birthday, from pancreatic cancer. Six weeks was all it took to go from us planning a trip to the Galapagos to gone.
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Guzzi Gal wrote:
Cherish what is worth cherishing and let the rest fade.

My mom was killed in a car accident on Thanksgiving weekend of '08, at 59. My dad went in '14, two weeks after his 63rd birthday, from pancreatic cancer. Six weeks was all it took to go from us planning a trip to the Galapagos to gone.
Sorry to hear that! It kind of hit close to home about your dad as I turned 64 in '14!
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I wonder how many people find their late parents looking at them in the mirror.
Seeing my dad when I shave is nice.
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Topolino wrote:
I wonder how many people find their late parents looking at them in the mirror.
Seeing my dad when I shave is nice.
Ha! We have always teased our girls with the saying, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all."

Wonderfully it turns out to be true, we see it in them and ourselves.

Chris from CLE
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@guzzi_gal avatar
Gigi, '13 GTS 300ie Touring
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2874
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
UTC quote
Topolino wrote:
I wonder how many people find their late parents looking at them in the mirror.
Seeing my dad when I shave is nice.
I'm the spitting image of my 'gene donor' who claimed I wasn't his. Ancestry proved him wrong, much to his surprise, I'm sure.
@greasy125 avatar
UTC

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14921
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
@greasy125 avatar
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14921
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
UTC quote
Guzzi Gal wrote:
^^^This!^^^

Cherish what is worth cherishing and let the rest fade.

My mom was killed in a car accident on Thanksgiving weekend of '08, at 59. My dad went in '14, two weeks after his 63rd birthday, from pancreatic cancer. Six weeks was all it took to go from us planning a trip to the Galapagos to gone.
precisely this. as I roll into my mid 40's I notice more and more friends dropping off. a particullary good friend and colleague of mine is in a bad spot. and that just bums me out.

the respite I had with my pops was that it was with the quickness. a doctor friend of mine reviewed the medical records and was all: mr. greasy, if the two of you were standing out on the lawn having a beer you couldn't do shit. he would've been dead before he hit the ground.

my mom calls or texts every day and I tell her that I love her. I tell my old lady the same. and then she says: work hard, but be safe, I need you to come home in one piece. which I never do because I'm a ridiculous person. she does NOT like the photos I send from job sites.

also, I'm in big trouble.
@adri avatar
UTC

Atypical Canadian
2009 Vespa S50(LX150 motor swap), 2006 Vespa GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2318
Location: Toronto, Canada
 
Atypical Canadian
@adri avatar
2009 Vespa S50(LX150 motor swap), 2006 Vespa GTS250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2318
Location: Toronto, Canada
UTC quote
Yup. Lost my dad when I was 23. Losing them young is devastating. I'm sure the next time will be much easier, not because my mother and I have a bad relationship, just because you have so much more lived experience and awareness to help you get through it, that you don't have when you're young.
@rajron avatar
UTC

Addicted
GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 816
Location: PHX area
 
Addicted
@rajron avatar
GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 816
Location: PHX area
UTC quote
My in-laws have passed; Mary just this year, Covid, at 89, her husband passed eight years earlier from a series of strokes, awful last years otherwise full lives.
My Dad passed twelve years ago two weeks before 92, they kept him alert until my brothers and I visit for the last visit because we all lived so far away from him/them – a complete full life.
My mom is still alive at ninety-six many year delta between dad and mom, I am certain her hidden agenda is to live until one hundred years. Sadly, she doesn't know me, hasn't for over five years now, doesn't remember much anymore, very sad. She used to always tell me of a family secret "I'll tell you when you get older" now she doesn't know. Until the nursing home, five years ago, she lived a full life, these last five years have been difficult.
Makes me realize how and what to expect; I am hoping options will be there for me before, well before.
@maggiegirl avatar
UTC

Addicted
2021 Primavera 150 touring, 2016 LXV 150 ie, 1978 Vespa P125, 2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 814
Location: central Illinois USA
 
Addicted
@maggiegirl avatar
2021 Primavera 150 touring, 2016 LXV 150 ie, 1978 Vespa P125, 2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 814
Location: central Illinois USA
UTC quote
Loosing a significant 'adult' hurts, no matter your current age. For me, I lost a part of my identity, cuz those were the people who knew me through all my stages of life, the only people that knew that baby, that toddler, that adventurous child. They helped form the person I became. So, I am sorry that you have lost this significant person, and hope you have some really good memories and some good photos of some of those special times together.
@bob_copeland avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3588
Location: Minneapolis USA
 
Ossessionato
@bob_copeland avatar
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3588
Location: Minneapolis USA
UTC quote
Topolino,

I had a Biology Professor in college that was emphatic about you are your parents
who will be looking out your eyes long after they are gone. He emphasized you
have their DNA, you have their behavioral mannerisms, you have their speech
patterns. So, looking in the mirror as Dad looks back - say hello.

Bob Copeland
@syd avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4768
Location: Tempe, AZ
 
Ossessionato
@syd avatar
GTS300 Super (Heinz) GTS250 Super (Bulger)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4768
Location: Tempe, AZ
UTC quote
My dad had his first heart attack at 54. My mom quit smoking that day, dad never did. He was sick when he retired then lasted a few more years. My older brother, the one I didn't really like until we were both in our forties, had his only heart attack at 54. Eighteen months later mom died. She was healthy-ish till near the end. Three weeks later my younger brother had his only heart attack at 44.

That was a tough 18 months but I got over it. It will take a while, but you will too.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
Topolino wrote:
I wonder how many people find their late parents looking at them in the mirror.
Seeing my dad when I shave is nice.
Ah... There is a lot of my paternal grandfather in me, from physical appearance to character ... Genetic inheritance is a great thing.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
@kshansen avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
GTV300 (wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1911
Location: Central New York
 
Molto Verboso
@kshansen avatar
GTV300 (wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1911
Location: Central New York
UTC quote
We have a friend in his early 70's and his wife who we rode motorcycles with for over twenty years. A couple years back his wife got so she did not know who he was. He has been dealing with this but it is taking a toll on him and their daughter and grand kids.

I think some of their friends look down on him as he has recently got back to being friends with a high school sweetheart. They met at a class reunion and while talking learned that each of them had a partner with the same problem. I think this renewed friendship might be the best thing for both of them.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
Completely agree.
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