Now, before I get to what I think would have to happen in the real world, let's review all the things that make it seem to Elly as if her alleged hard work and fictitious sacrifices have paid off or are about to:
- The defiant son who honestly thought that he had the right to decide what career he should have is not only the author she needs him to be, he's grateful to her for steering him onto the right path.
- The middle daughter has learned that it's better to have a dependable man who treats you like crap than a good man who expects you to wait for him and that the outside world is a scary, cruel place that only seems to be attractive.
- The youngest daughter who ruined her poor mother's last chance at making a real difference is about to learn that her mother has always loved her and known best.
- Her children are married to or are about to be married to people who are only too happy to remind them of what they owe their parents.
- When she and John pass on, their friends will help the children with whatever financial problems might arise.
What this translates to in English is that she's successfully sabotaged her children because she's too blasted vain to realize something she and John refused to acknowledge as regards who owes whom what. While the two self-absorbed poops might have conned themselves into thinking that since they did their children a huge favor by not leaving them on a doorstep for other people to raise and are thus owed things in return, the World just plain does not work that way. The simple fact is that since they brought Mike, Liz and April into this world, they have a responsibility to their children and the rest of us to raise them to be functioning members of society; anything that they might get in return is not thus a requirement but a bonus that they shouldn't have expected.
This is what has always sort of appalled me about the way the strip ended. The need I have to see the wicked punished for their crimes and misdemeanors makes the Strip of Destiny an unsatisfying conclusion. The image that appeals to me is John and Elly staring out the window of the Tiny Train House wondering why everything went so horribly wrong after Liz got married and when they can expect to hear from their children again.