I have been thinking a lot about my mother-in-law, Ellen, who passed into the next life on June 10 this year. I miss her something fierce.
She would be so nervous about my son’s upcoming professional jiu jitsu fight. Ellen would be proud too. You can bet that she would have been sitting right with us, cheering him on during the fight. I wish I could call her to talk about it. Listening to her worry and having to come up with reasons to help her relax helped me to calm down. I will be thinking of her during his fight.
She would be so happy to see everyone in my family who is coming to cheer on Cameron. She always liked to hang out with my family. Indeed, when she found out her breast cancer had re-occurred, it was my sister that she called in order to discuss her options for the way she wanted to live the rest of her life. It was my sister who she asked to tell her son that she didn’t want to fight, but only wanted comfort care.
We will really feel her absence these next few weeks as Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday and Christmas come. She spent every birthday and holiday with us. She was there for the kids’ competitions, recitals, school performances and everything else. We even went on vacations together — she came on the first road trip with the kids and I (without my husband). Even though she lived a couple hours away, she was always here. She had put a deposit down in order to move to a retirement home near us so we could be together more often.
I know I am not the only one who misses my mother in law a ton. She had some really wonderful friends, particularly Judy and Jack, who were more like family members to her. Over the short course of her illness, I got to know them better and I can see why she chose them as her framily.
She was a loving and funny lady. We were always laughing. I know it’s weird for a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to actually like each other, but we did. We were very close. Maybe it’s because our birthdays were only 3 days apart. I was one of the few people that she wanted by her side when she was passing and that was such an honor. I held her hand as she died. It was me who knew when she was taking her last breath and who lead as we prayed her into her next life.
I hope she knows that I miss her and that I dissolve into tears when I unpack silly things like sandwich baggies filled with band-aids because that’s the sort of thing she was always bringing to us when she came to stay. It’s those little things; the newspaper clippings in the mail, the phone calls about the kids or something she’d seen on the news; those are the things that I miss the most. I have been crying as I write this post. Luckily, it’s on a computer, so there are no splotches.
So, I just want to remind you to cherish those little things and appreciate the people you have while you are still lucky enough to have them. Call your mom, your dad, your mother-in-law, your father-in-law or whoever and give them the gift of your time and attention.This is a picture of Ellen and Gary on Christmas last year. We thought we’d have her for another 10 years at least. They were laughing about this pot – such a good memory.