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Our Blues: Episodes 19-20 (Final)

With death looming right around the corner, our characters come to terms with their true feelings, and open up to each other in this final hour. They face their old wounds in order to mend their relationship and find peace. Despite the struggles and heartaches our characters endure, the show reminds its audience that everyone deserves happiness.

 
EPISODES 19-20 WEECAP: Ok-dong & Dong-suk

Dong-suk decides to fulfill Ok-dong’s wishes before she dies, but in exchange, he plans to ask her all his burning questions. After dropping Choon-hee off at the hospital, Dong-suk and Ok-dong shop for food and head to the oldest stepson’s apartment for the memorial service. Ok-dong asks Dong-suk to stay, but when they ring the doorbell, a stranger opens the door. The stepson moved across the street a year ago, and Dong-suk realizes that those ungrateful jerks never invited his mom to come in the first place.

In the parking lot, Dong-suk crosses path with the oldest stepson who barely acknowledges his existence. Irked by the dismissal, Dong-suk whirls around and joins the memorial out of spite. During dinner, the wife attempts some small talk, but Dong-suk mocks the stepson for losing all his dad’s fortune. Throwing food in Dong-suk’s face, the stepson accuses him of stealing from his family and causing his dad’s death.

Ok-dong holds Dong-suk back, but when the stepson calls him pitiful, she glares at the stepson and chucks food at him. She defends Dong-suk for being a patient son and scolds the stepson for twisting the truth since his dad died because of him.

After hearing Ok-dong’s outburst, Dong-suk realizes that she was aware of everything and asks her that night if she feels apologetic towards him. She stares back at him in confusion and asks why she should be. Without a word, he leaves the motel room and goes to sleep in his truck.

Before going back to Jeju, Dong-suk looks around for Ok-dong’s hometown at her behest, but the neighborhood has been torn down and turned into a reservoir. She insists on going still, and when they arrive, the landscape is unrecognizable. Dong-suk wonders if she has any family left at least, and Ok-dong tells him that they all passed away.

Hiking back, Dong-suk notices Ok-dong limping and offers to carry her the rest of the way. Once they reach the truck, he confronts his mom once more about abandoning him, and she tells him that a crazy woman cannot feel apologetic. She blames herself for her daughter’s death as well as misunderstanding the needs of her young son. She tells Dong-suk to not mourn for her when she dies, and he wipes away his tears, unable to respond.

Though Ok-dong’s condition worsens, she wishes to go home, so Dong-suk books tickets for the next ferry. With a few hours to spare, he asks if she wants to go anywhere else, and Ok-dong mentions the town where she met her husband. Despite his grumblings, he takes her there, and Ok-dong stares at the old restaurant where she used to work as a young teenager.

On the ferry, Ok-dong asks Dong-suk how to spell her mom’s name, so he writes it on the window. Seeing her light up, he writes down everything else she wants to know including Mount Halla. Hearing the last request, he asks if she has ever been there, and she shakes her head. He talks about the gorgeous lake on top, and Ok-dong looks longingly out the window.

By the time Ok-dong wakes up, she finds herself seated in Dong-suk’s truck surrounded by morning snow. While she was sleeping, he drove them halfway up Mount Halla since she has never seen it. She muses about the lake on top, and against his better judgment, he gives in to her wishes and grabs a pair of boots from his truck.

During their hike, Dong-suk asks his mom if she wants to be reincarnated, and wonders if she would want to be his mom again. Ok-dong declines at first, but when Dong-suk promises to be kinder in the next life, she changes her mind. While taking a break, Dong-suk brings up his sister and tells his mom to not blame herself for what happened. He then asks when she was the happiest, and to his bafflement, Ok-dong answers, “Right now.”

Noticing Ok-dong struggle, Dong-suk coaxes her to go back down and promises to finish the trek by himself and send her pictures. He takes off at a brisk pace, but the path comes to an abrupt end since the top is restricted due to inclement weather. Dong-suk films a video instead, explaining his predicament to Ok-dong, and choking back his tears, he offers to take her in person when the flowers bloom.

They reach Ok-dong’s house by nightfall, but as Dong-suk watches his mom leave, he calls out to her, not wanting to separate just yet. He takes her to his house for the first time, and there, they meet Sun-ah and her son who have come to visit for the weekend. While Dong-suk bonds with Sun-ah’s son, Ok-dong talks with Sun-ah and realizes that Dong-suk has found someone who sees his kind heart.

Despite Sun-ah’s invitation to stay the night, Ok-dong returns home and sends Dong-suk away as well. Before he leaves, he asks for breakfast tomorrow, and Ok-dong happily agrees. She gets up early the next morning to prepare the food and feed her pets, but when Dong-suk arrives, he finds her sleeping beside the set table. He tries waking her up, but an uneasy feeling passes over him when she doesn’t respond.

Dong-suk goes over to check and realizes that Ok-dong has passed. He grabs her in a hug and cries uncontrollably into her shoulder. In voiceover, Dong-suk says that his mom never told him that she loved him nor she did apologize, but none of that mattered now. Holding her in his arms, he realized for the first time that he never resented her because all he ever wanted was reconciliation.

The show never condones Ok-dong’s mistreatment of Dong-suk, and they made it clear that she failed him as a mom. However, like everyone else, Ok-dong is a complex character, and the conflict between her and Dong-suk is about more than her past wrongdoings. Through their final trip and her death, Dong-suk learns that his anger stemmed from longing rather than resentment, and we see from Ok-dong’s perspective that her silence was fueled by guilt and self-loathing.

Because she did not have the means to provide for him, she thought a roof over his head and warm meals took precedent over everything else — including motherly love. However, she learned her mistake too late, and a combination of stubbornness and guilt caused her to never reach out first.

In some ways, Ok-dong dealt with her past by avoiding it, which is something Dong-suk struggled with as well. In the end, mother and son had more in common than either realized, and because of their shared experience of loneliness, Dong-suk was able to see Ok-dong outside of her role as his mom and have sympathy for her as a person.

Forgiveness is messy, and goodbyes are rarely clean-cut. There is a still a lot of remorse and unspoken words between Ok-dong and Dong-suk, but despite all that, I believe they both got the closure they needed. Dong-suk was able to release his anger, and as a result, he can now move on with his life and build meaningful relationships.

As for Ok-dong, she died after experiencing her happiest day, and she got to spend time with her son and leave him behind knowing that he won’t be alone like she was. While her life may have been a tragedy for the most part, her final moments were filled with happiness, allowing her to pass on without any lingering regrets.

One month has passed since Ok-dong’s death, and the latest event for our villagers is the upcoming athletic meet against the neighboring town. Everyone is energized to win since they have lost two years in a row, and a handful of familiar faces have returned to Jeju including Han-soo, Mi-ran, Young-hee, and Eun-ki.

Giving a quick roundup of the characters, Han-soo has a new position at a bank, and Eun-hee remains best friends with Mi-ran. Young-ok’s relationship with Jung-joon is even stronger after meeting his parents who accept her in their own stoic way, Young-hee is visiting Jeju more frequently, and Jung-joon’s younger brother is dating Byul-yi. Young-joo gave birth early to a healthy baby girl, and Hyun is now a natural at In-kwon’s stand. Even Sun-ah is at the event to cheer for Dong-suk, and everyone welcomes her with open arms.

The athletic meet ends with a group “chicken fight” and as the two sides charge into each other, the camera cuts to all the various characters. The show ends with the following message: “There is one mission we must never forget. We weren’t born into this world to suffer or feel miserable. We were born to be happy. We wish everyone happiness!”

With that, the show concludes with a montage of its cast and crew. An appropriate ending for a story that was about people who are often overlooked. Though the drama was met with mixed reviews, I thought that overall Our Blues was an interesting watch with memorable moments and a phenomenal cast. The drama highlighted people in society who aren’t typically the protagonist, and with the omnibus format on top of that, the show offered something slightly different from the usual fare. Its message of hope was also appropriate for the current times. While the story never shied away from suffering, the creators made it clear that everyone — despite their flaws and hardships — deserves happiness.

 
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I FF throught the last episode. I didn't like his mom and the episode was too long. I hated that persistence is what got Sun Ah to like him though, his crush on her was unhealthy. However it ended nicely enough, so cool.

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For 10 weeks we have been smothered by sadness, cruelty, anger, darkness, abuse, neglect, hardship, pain and suffering with only a few gasps of hope and kindness. The last focus on Dong-seok and his mother laid heavily on their estrangement. Only one thing was clear: stubbornness is an inherited trait. Their reconciliation was foreshadowed but it did not hit home like other recent story arc resolutions.

I really thought the tenor of the show would have ended on a much more serious and depressing note. For example, I thought Eun-Hui, the glue that holds the community together, would have a sudden heart attack or accident which would throw everyone for a loop. Instead of the theme of individual heartache, it would transcend to cover everyone.

The community field day was an attempt to put some fun in their bleak lives. It was an attempt to balance out the sadness left after most episodes with some normalcy. The corny ending message about happiness seems to be a “duh” refrain.

Overall, it was a good show. It slathered on anger, misunderstanding and cruelty to the breaking point in most of the stories. There will be many award nominations for the cast and crew. Jung Eun-Hye as best new actress, being a disabled adult. If they would bring back best child actor category Ki So-Yu played a wonderful grandchild. The writer, No Hee-Kyung, will get recognition for tackling several sensitive subjects. The ensemble cast worked so well together there was no individual stand-out performance.

Overall, it was a well-done series, but not necessarily for a mainstream audience looking for a conventional slice of life series.

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The final episode was sad but beautiful. Dong-seok and Ok-dong’s story ended the best as it possibly could. Perhaps Dong-seok didn’t get everything he needed from his mom, but he got enough.

Ok-dong had such a sad life, losing her parents and sibling and then her husband and daughter. I knew Ok-dong became a mistress and nurse to the wife, but I didn’t realize the situation lasted for 15 years. She was the product of poverty and thought she was doing the right thing by becoming a mistress and giving Dong-seok three meals a day and a nice home to live in, but man, what a screwed up situation. No wonder they were all so angry and messed up.

I love Kim Hye-ja. I thought Lee Byung-hyun did a good job with a tough character, one that was unlike his usual.

The scene where Dong-seok was writing words on the window was my favorite. Really lovely.

I’m glad we got to see the whole cast together at the end.

I really loved this drama and each of the stories. I don’t even know which was my favorite, it kept changing. I’d love to see more dramas with the omnibus format.

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As I've said before, "Our Blues" was undoubtedly a well done show. It's likely to win a lot of awards, and I can absolutely see why so many actors signed on. A lot of them had juicy roles and did great work.

But for me as a viewer, I struggled to get through many episodes because there was so much pain and unease. I felt uncomfortable a LOT and I don't like to feel uncomfortable. I couldn't help but wish that there had been more lightness, humor, and outright sweet and mutual love stories (the Captain's arc came the closest to this but the others often felt unbalanced or largely defined by hardship and not joy). I know the show wanted to show various types of love and relationships from different angles, and not sugarcoat the reality of people's struggles, but the overall effect was just too exhausting for me.

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i don't know if you liked hospital playlist, but now i'm wondering what our blues would be like if they were able to maybe split into two shorter seasons as a limited series 👀

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I loved both seasons of HP. That one had the type of tone I wish OB had.

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Our Blues has ended and I'm kind of regretting I left the show mid way. I was sure I'd complete one NHK drama and that would be this one because it has an omnibus format. But she wins! Her shows are hard to watch because she does slice of life differently. In dramas of other writers, no matter how realistic, I see characters. In NHK's shows, I see humans. Maybe one day I'll get back to it. It's nice to see the positive reviews.

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The last four episodes were beautiful, with stellar performances of the little girl, Lee Byung-hun and particularly Kim Hye-ja as his mother. I never tired of her childlike gazes, rarely at people's faces, but mostly to the side, the into the distance and to the floor, as well as her stubbornness.

Unlike many other dramas, this one became better and better with every episode. Not all storylines were done equally well, but I admired the disabled sister story and the performance of the disabled actress. A very rewarding watch.

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I didn't specially like this drama. I think my favourite part was Eun-Hui and Han-Su as teenagers.

For the rest, I couldn't care for the characters. A lot of them were unsympathetic to me. Even if they changed, they were so tiring before and the change sudden, that it didn't make me care more for them.

I spent the last episode to think the mother was dead in each scene... She was more tenacious I thought.

The actors were good (even if I didn't see any chemistry between Han Ji-Min and Kim Woo-Bin), the scenery was beautiful and I liked the OST.

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Every time OK Dong closed her eyes I thought she was about to die.

I already loved the Park Brothers and it was nice to see how accepting their parents were. Nice parents are always a breathe of fresh air for me in kdramas.

Overall this drama had a lot of hard to watch episodes which were uneasy/heartbreaking but the stories had to be told. I think that the story I liked the least was Eun-Hui and Han-su so once that was over I could keep watching.

I just want to applaud the actors for an excellent portrayal of their characters. From the child actors to the elders 👏🏾👏🏾

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Our Blues has finally come to an end. The laughs and the tears, the what have you's that makes Our Blues has finally come to an end.
Our Blues had various aspects that I immensely respect, and I’d like to highlight a few in the concluding episodes.

Ok-dung: As usual, expect Our Blues to throw you off balance with Ok-dung's POV which I must say was very valid. But I loved the fact that unlike previous arcs, they did something different with her - No euphoria moment to make Dong-seok beat himself up with regret for how he handled his relationship with his mom. Dong-seok's final regret as he hugged lifeless Ok-dung stemmed from something else, a longing for his mother's touch, and not the closure that comes from hashing things out.
As they hashed things out scene by scene I knew forgiveness wouldn’t work for this two, it’ll only ruin them more. She didn’t need forgiveness, neither did Dong-seok need to forgive her. That forgiveness withheld was her penance. If he forgave her, it would be punishment for Ok-dung rather than closure and she knew it. Forgiving her wouldn’t do her any good, so it was extremely thoughtful of her not to apologize for her actions, and stick to her guns till the end. While I was looking with a side eye at those screaming ‘I understand and all', Ok-dung won my respect by not apologizing. She understood her son. Even in death, we know that she longed for her son to accept her, and her son longed for her too.

Dong-seok: His story has been one that had me wanting to know more. His character is introduced and written as one very annoying piece of a fellow who has a disdain for his mom, with a very unhealthy mindset with dating womenfolk so it was quite easy to dislike him at first. Still, he was the one who had me captured in the most, the one I wanted to have the best closure possible. Behind that unlikeable exterior we saw is a man who has a kind, innocent heart. Behind his tough approach of life, there is this call for help that no one sees or acknowledges, except his mom(who ignored it till the end) and Seon-a(who embraced it). His mother’s actions really broke him, robbed him off his being, made him turn into what he knew he wasn’t just so he could spite his mom. Alas! She had developed a thick skin to that already. This moment of his life really shaped his future, shaped his thinking about women. He drew lessons from it. That’s why he was able to draw Seon-a out of her destruction cycle, he could see things exactly from her perspective. So when Seon-a gave her perspective on he and Ok-dung, he knew he had found the woman who would not turn out to be like his mother. That was the confirmation he needed. And it wasn’t till he confirmed that he asked about her ex-husband. He is still that 15year old boy at heart who doesn’t want to repeat the cycle he had with his mother.
Dong-seok could be frontal with his affection which can become unpleasant by the way, asking Seon-a what she missed him as, but he had to...

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Dong-seok could be frontal with his affection which can become unpleasant by the way, asking Seon-a what she missed him as, but he had to. Persistence might have worked, but it’s not like the affection wasn’t there all along, it had always been there, for as long as they’ve known each other. He knows he wants her, and now that she’s available, he is shooting his shot consistently, with perseverance which paid out at the end of the day. The ball was in her court, but if you leave Seon-a alone to come to terms on her own without a nudge from him, the Seon-a in Our Blues that I watched might never( a very high percentage) consider to that step that branches them away from an obviously romantic platonic relationship into a full blown romantic one. His persistence was the final ingredient that they needed.
Dong-seok deserves happiness, and I’m glad he found it in Seon-a. For one, I wanted this pair to work out so much, and now I’m rooting for them off-screen ,to the good place their love takes them.
Actorwise, this is my first time consciously seeing Lee Byung-eun on screen. With the kind of person Dong-seok was introduced as, it takes a great deal of finesse to make him understood by the audience. Lee Byung-eun really did a fine job embodying this character and presenting him palatably despite his many annoying arcs and displays when it could easily veer into the gross category. The praise that comes with his acting chops are true.
Another actor that wowed me was Lee Jung-eun. And it is the way she was so down to earth with the younger casts, giving off this unnie vibe you’d not remember that there is a good age difference. She wasn’t ashamed to act out Eun-hee, and when she shared scenes with the younger casts, she wasn’t stifling, she was ready to joke with Eunhui’s young persona, to joke with herself. She just shined more and more. Truly, an actor must be ready to joke with themselves.

When life has dealt a very bad hand on a consecutive basis it is so easy to live in dread of hope. Hope is a good thing, an anchor people draw strength from. Chun-hui giving up on Mansu was a perfect example of hope being the straw that could kill someone, of how hope could be a source of fear instead of solace. Life is really unfair to some people. I hoped for a miracle, I hope the sincerity of their hearts as they prayed by the 100 moons would move the One that be to grant her a miracle. She was the last person to kneel, so here she was making her very last stand to secure the life of her only remaining child, clinging once again to hope, one thing she has come to fear, hoping that Eun-ki’s sincerity would prevent life from taking hope away from here finally. So when her desperate shot at hope was rewarded with the miracle that happened later on, I just had to accept it as it is – a miracle.

Whatever life throws, as the farewell note reminds us, we should still wish ourselves happiness in tiny bits or large chunks. We deserve it. So yes, it was fun...

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...cheering alongside them during the athletic competition and I had my full laughter. Seeing the faces Han-su, Myeong-bo, Mi-ran, converge again with our Jeju natives for the competition was perfect. And ending on this happy note is the kind of happiness Our Blues wishes for me to have.

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@lovepark: Thank you for this poignant and thoughtful recap.
I found Lee Byunghun’s acting really hard going (to the consternation of a fellow Binnie!) for much of the series but he did better in these final episodes. His and his mother’s characters were victimised by poverty and hierarchical and gender norms, and it is not easy to heal from sich wounds. Humans are - to our detriment - at times unable to reach out, to forgive and perhaps even to forget. I read something recently that resonated with me even if I am conflicted about it. It said that forgiveness even if unmerited is important so that the victims and survivors are able to move on and leave the injustice, brutality and sorrow behind. For me, eg in instances of gross human rights violations such as genocide and sexually trafficked survivors, justice must be pursued for those victims as the impunity of those brutalizing others is difficult to swallow. But in personal contexts such as the one depicted here, if only these two had been able to reach out to each other a long time ago. But then this dimension of the drama would not have existed so….
I found absolutely zero chemistry between Shin Minna and Lee Byunghun. Furthermore, given her depression, his persistence and tantrums were concerning and remained so.

I wish we had seen much more of Baek Seung-do as Park Ki-joon, Jung-jun's younger brother and his affection for and attraction to
Byul played by Lee So-byul[b]. In those brief scenes, there was much more palpable chemistry between these 2 actors than many of the main ones as far as I was concerned. I would have loved to have seen more of Byul’s life and engagement with her fear of losing loved ones to the sea as well as living as a deaf person within her depicted hearing world.

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I agree there was no real chemistry between Shin Min Ah and Lee Byung Hun. However, within the show’s context, I wonder if his persistence/consistent presence was reassuring for her. Overall, he was supportive. He tried to help where he could. His feelings never wavered. Although one could say that is not really healthy for him …. I think she must have realized who truly loved her. Surely it must also have been a relief to know that there is someone who hasn’t given up on her. Someone who won’t leave, like her mom, dad, and husband.
At her age and given her situation, she probably isn’t looking for palpable love. She is probably looking for someone more mature and reliable. That’s the way I saw it.

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This was a really good drama even though it was never an easy watch. Good dramas are more than just entertainment- they explore our humanity and that was certainly true for OUR BLUES.

It delivered some really poignant moments. Even though it was only a small part of the last two episodes for me one of those moments was when Captain Park has taken Young-ok to meet his extremely reserved parents, convinced that they will reject her- and then she suddenly starts to cry in the knowledge that they have in fact accepted her into their family.

Moments of such grace are not that common in dramas, and it takes an exceptional writer and great actors to deliver them.

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what a stellar cast!! i loved this drama, Uhm Jung Hwa's character was the one i least liked... it was sweet, sad, and i loved Lee Byung Heon's grouchiness (he does it well, like in Mr. Sunshine).

my eyes are still puffy, cried thru the whole last 2 episodes practically...

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I wish this was a 52 ep weekend drama, I’d be a fan of that completely with such an amazing cast!

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Thank you, @lovepark, for the weecap! Miran telling Eun-hee (when Han-sol arrived) to just think that: He isn't mine - he's taken! makes me believe that she's really a good friend to Eun-hee. Ok-dong's passing shows just how close-knit the town of Pureung is - everybody taking care of everybody! Loved the show.

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Conflicted about this one. Overall, it feels like a lot of the traits I (as an international viewer) see as unhealthy and unaddressed in other dramas were frontlined in this one. A lot of the things that were eyebrow-raising but small plot points in other dramas, and could be brushed aside, were constant themes here.

And I think that’s what makes me so uneasy about this show. It is probably cultural, but there are a LOT of relationships here where I wanted one (or both!) people to walk away. And not only did they not walk away, they didn’t apologize and the show kind of said “that’s just how people are”. I don’t think that IS “just how people are” for many viewers, so behaviors of characters seemed borderline masochistic.

Not saying it’s a bad show, or badly acted. Just saying this one may be one of the ones that has a really hard time translating internationally.

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this is my favorite drama of the year so far..the last few episodes starting from youngok,younghee,jeongjun until dongseok and okdong are all so well made, well written, well acted..kudos to everyone who worked hard for this drama hopefully they'll bring back some awards next year

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I kept wondering how multiple trips through randomness with Deong-Seok is going to redeem the horrible Mom. It wasn't until the last scene of their arc, that I realized their story wasn't about redeeming the Mum & forgiving her, but rather giving Dong-Seok a chance at healing. Which he does.

It couldn't be more evident from the scene where he gets to eat the freshly prepared Deonjang-stew cooked by his Mom, for one last time, but SHE doesn't get to see him eat it.

Noh Hee-Kyung isn't a master storyteller for nothing. I'm glad Young-Joo had a baby girl who I imagine will have a childhood many of us will be jealous of! :')

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I loved this show! While I loved some story lines more than others, the show as a whole was excellent in portraying life. Everyone has a story to tell. No one is perfect (except maybe the captain?! Lol.) And yet everyone deserved to be loved, just as they are. I also love that despite their short comings, the truth was everybody was just trying their best to take care of their kids/family/friends. In the end, that is what mattered most.
While the message in the end may be cheesy, it’s the truth though, right? We often forget and focus on the negative. Especially when it comes to other people.
I wish everyone happiness and a ray of sunshine 💕

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