My mother recently passed away at the age of 80 after a 10 year battle with physical disabilities and dementia. We had a few days advance warning, so my brother and sister were able to fly in to say goodbye the day before Mom succumbed to a respiratory condition.
Mom grew up in Nazi Germany. Because of that, she always had a strong appreciation for democracy which she passed along to her kids, and she had some good "war stories". I'm posting one of them here as a sort of tribute. I guess you could call it "$#*! My Mom Said".
Mom's home town was a small farming community near Hamburg, and the folks there had a distrust of central authority of any kind, including the Nazis. At one point, everyone had to buy these cheaply-made Nazi uniforms and Mom got a definite sense that Grandpa resented it. The local butcher certainly resented it; so much so that he put his Nazi pants on his dog and then let the dog run around town. So the local Gestapo officials arrested the butcher, beat him up a bit, and locked him up.
Then a delegation of "village elders" visited the Gestapo office and BS'd the officials into releasing the butcher. The line was that everyone knew the guy was stark raving crazy and nobody took him seriously. Besides that he was the only butcher in town and they really needed him for the war effort. So how about letting him go? For the sake of the cause, of course.
BTW, Mom was always very gay-friendly, despite the homophobia of the Nazi regime. She was pleased when I started actively supporting the GLBT community a few years ago. She would have enjoyed having a beer with my buddies at the gay bar. (One of those buddies suggested that I write down Mom's stories. Thanks for the idea, G.P.)
Mom suffered the last couple of years she was alive. On some level, she was aware of how she was deteriorating both mentally and physically. We hope she's at peace now. Thanks to Soulforce for letting me share this. Best wishes for the holidays to everyone out there.