Her story, her life, is coming to an end. The final chapter is being written. A life I don’t want to think about. As a somewhat new bride (7.5 months), it pains me to watch my mother-in-law lay lifelessly on her bed. Her days, perhaps hours are few. It’s hard to imagine not having her there when the family gets together. It will be painful to see dad walk alone when he gets out of the van. I liked life the way it was before. Why must it change? I want to demand it stay – WITH mom! No one else can fill her spot. A mother’s place can never be replaced. Especially one so sweet, selfless and loving as she.
We want to do everything right. Nothing wrong. We don’t want to see her in pain. When she furrows her brow it makes us uneasy and nervous – what does she need? Is she in pain? We want to make sure it’s not too noisy in her room. We close the door to keep the noise down. We don’t want to disturb her and talk in hushed tones.
She’s my mother-in-law; the woman who bore my husband. She raised him. Disciplined him. Encouraged him. Spoke life words to him. Loved him. She knows everything about him.
If Jason wasn’t feeling well – ask mom what to take.
When his pants had torn knees – give them to mom.
When I wasn’t sure how to make rice – talk to mom.
When I wanted to learn to knit she sat beside me and we slowly learned together.
She lived a good, long, hard life. Everyone loved her. She never talked bad of anyone. And to me, she was always so friendly and accepting as a new person coming into the family. I always felt loved and important when I was with her. Never once did I feel like I didn’t belong. Whenever I would come to her house, she would be there to greet me with a warm hug and a smile. Jason says whenever he went home without me mom would always ask where I was or what I was doing. He said sometimes he dreaded going home without me because he knew his mom would ask about his wife.
I often helped make supper with her. I used to do the salad. And help un-stack the dishwasher. She would tell me she wanted me to know my way around her kitchen. From helping grandma who is 92 she had seen what ‘not to be like’ in her mind and having people know where stuff belonged in her kitchen when she couldn’t get around anymore was one thing she wanted.
The day she went into the ER, it began to rain. Not drenching rain but just a sprinkle. By the evening, after we knew her condition, it began to pour. All night and into the next day the skys opened up and the rains came down. Our hearts vexed and moaned along with the thunder. It seemed God in heaven was crying too for his prized Anna who now was determined to having cancer. He was grieving right along with us. The thunder and lightning was mighty and loud. God’s heart was breaking with ours…
After mom got home on Thursday the storm clouds broke off and a new cool front moved in. For May, it’s surprisingly cool. As hot as it has been in the past few weeks, almost 100’s we were surprised to feel the coolness. To our surprise, the coolness has stayed. It seems God knew Anna needed the cooler weather as her hot and sweaty body attempts to fight off this disease. It seems God knew all the family that was going to be conjugating around the house needed to be able to be outside too.
The coolness, also makes me think that a new season is dawning, a page turning, a new chapter in our lives, one, unfortunately without mom. For life to occur, a death has to take place. Her death will bring new life. The mystery is what new life? I guess not knowing is part of the journey and where it all leads. It is with mixed emotion we anticipate what lies ahead.
To find out more on her condition, please visit this web site.