Tag Archives: death

Mom-in-law


Hello Everyone!

One day several years ago, my husband and I were visiting his parents when Mark’s Mom and Dad began to debate the cost of the dining room set (table, chairs and china cabinet) they had purchased some 40 to 50 years earlier.  Once the debate progressed to a certain point, Mark’s Mom announced she would prove that she was right.  She stood up, walked out of the room, came back into the room with a pleated cardboard folder, opened the pleats, put her hand one time into a particular spot and pulled out the receipt for said furniture.  (For the record, she remembered the price correctly before checking.)  Mark’s eyes were dancing, but I dissolved into laughter right there in the den.  When she asked me what was so funny, I explained that she had attained a level of organization I could never hope to attain.

Another favorite story is the time she had to go out of town to Andalusia (Alabama, not Spain) for something, which is usually a full day’s trip.  To surprise her, my Dad-in-law pulled all of the furniture out of the dining room, including the removal of all of the china from the china cabinet, and painted the dining room for her.  The paint job was perfect.  He then very carefully put everything back in the room, put the china back in the cabinet exactly the way it came out, and had the room looking spectacular.  When she came home, what she noticed was that the china cabinet was off-center by one inch, whereupon he emptied the china cabinet once more to put the cabinet where she wanted it.

Then there was the day that Mark’s dad decided to replace the baseboards in the kitchen.  He had been talking about this project for a while, and Mark had already offered to bring down his portable mitre saw to help him when he got ready to do it – all we asked was that he let us know in advance so we could plan.  Mark’s mom called us that Saturday morning, speaking just barely above a whisper, to let us know his dad had decided to go forward with Project Baseboard on his own, and she really thought he might need some help.  We threw the mitre saw in the car and drove down to Montgomery from Alexander City, about an hour’s drive, and sure enough, the mitre saw came in handy.

I don’t know how fond of me she was when Mark and I first started dating, although she predicted that I would be the one he married because my birthday was December 27.   This was not based on astrology, which she had little time for, but on the fact that her daughter had married a man whose birthday is December 23, and her son married a woman whose birthday is December 22.  She was right.  By the time we got married, she loved me dearly and ever since we got married she always treated me like I was one of her own children.

During the five years I was in law school at night, she fed me supper three times a week when school was in session – their house was just down the street from my law school, and the only way my schedule worked was for me to leave straight from work, grab something to eat at her house, then head over to school.

I never once walked into her house without being welcomed by her special smile, a hug, and the comment, “My, how pretty you look.”  And even though I know for a fact that I didn’t always look pretty, I never doubted for a minute that she meant it.

When Mark’s Dad died in 2001, she had to learn to live on her own.  It wasn’t easy for her, but I admired the courage that it took for her to take each step forward in rebuilding her life.

When Kayla came to live with us December 1, 2004, she fell in love with her immediately.  I can remember the first time she baby-sat for us – we had warned her in advance that three year olds and sugary foods did not mix well.  When we came back to pick Kayla up, Kayla was bouncing off the walls and ceiling.  Mark’s mom looked just like a kid whose hand was caught in the cookie jar as she confessed that she had “only” given Kayla a piece of chocolate cake and some candy.  We laughed about it; there is, after all, a reason that what happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s.

She hated having her picture taken and the number of pictures we have of her smiling is very limited – you had to take the picture when she didn’t know you were taking it and she was concentrating on something else.  I am very proud that I have some.

Here she is with Kayla on the first Halloween Kayla was with us:

Kayla's first Halloween

And here is a picture I took when the entire family got to meet Andy and Anne’s first-born child, Carter, her first great-grandchild.

Mom Eady meets Carter

She fell and broke her hip in 2016, and things were never the same for her afterwards.  She passed away this past year right after Christmas.  Everyone in her family, including me, misses her and we grieve but there is part of us too that is grateful that she is out of pain and reunited with Mark’s Dad.  And, of course, all of us believe that we will see her again some day.

So sadly I say “au revoir” to my Mom-in-law, say a silent prayer of thanksgiving for her entry into the next great adventure, and look forward to the day when I see her again, and she smiles at me and says once again,”My, how pretty you look!”

Have a great day.

Nancy

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The E-mail That Never Comes


Good morning Everyone!

I had a dream Friday night – in it, I wrote a lengthy, newsy letter to my grandfather and then remembered that he had died, so I placed the letter sadly in the trash can, wondering why everyone else around me wasn’t upset.

Grief over the loss of a loved one is an odd thing.  Even when  the death begins to rotate away in time, and you are forced to pay attention to other priorities,   little things suddenly and sharply bring the loss back into focus.

With my grandparents (even though my grandmother was already dead when Grandpa died, I am mourning both of them together; somehow, losing Grandpa meant that I lost Grandma all over again, too), it can be things as small as the smell of the garage when I walk out into it mid-day, seeing a house by the side of the road that reminds of the house they had while I was growing up, or even checking my e-mail and remembering that I won’t have one from Grandpa any more.

Grandpa decided to learn about computers and e-mail in his early 70’s, about 20 years ago.  Although his information superhighway never went much above the speed of 35 miles per hour since the only internet available to him in Casey was dial-up, he steadily chugged along it.

For the last five years or so, he has sent small group e-mails out about once a week letting us know how he and Grandma, or just he, were doing and giving us pieces of hometown news – small, heart-warming things like telling us that the local football team had made it to the state championships or that one of our many cousins in the area had done something noteworthy.  I think he did it partly to stop the onslaught of calls that would ensue to his house if no-one had received an e-mail from him for a while (we all knew that something was wrong if we didn’t hear from him periodically) and partly because he liked sharing the news with us and he liked the computer.

Before that, we would hear from him even more frequently, as he tackled the task of going through old family photographs from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, scanning them into his computer and then sending them out to us with information about the people in the photograph, and stories the photograph called to mind.

The grief in losing someone never really completely subsides – Mark’s father died in 2001, and every so often I still see someone who strongly reminds me of him, and the grief comes back – but it softens with time, changing from the raw, jagged grief you experience closer to the death to a more rounded, watercolor version.

I miss them both, very much.  And to all of you who read this who just went through Mother’s Day for the first time after the death of their mother, I want you to know that I thought about you a lot yesterday and my heart goes out to you.

Nancy

Miss me?


Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted, the longest amount of time ever since I started writing this blog, and I just wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten you, and miss you quite a bit; we are just in an exceptionally fluid time right now that is taking a lot of time and energy.  To give you a sense of what is going on, let me give you the approximate timeline:

(Warning:  Any hint of anything that sounds like whining is purely intentional – I have to let it out somewhere!; please ignore it)

1) Tyra goes suddenly blind.  Family (including Tyra) adjusts.

2)  Grandpa has heart attack on March 13; Dad, who was about 8 hours away and in the process of returning home from just spending a week in Illinois, turns back.

3) Thursday, March 15.  Mark goes to a job interview.

4) We get the good news that Grandpa is better, and is at home.  (March 17).  I talk to him and Dad that day.

5)  Monday, March 19 at 5:00 p.m.  We learn that Grandpa has died.

6) Tuesday, March 20 – I have doctor’s appointment, Mark has second interview for job.  Mom heads to our house so we can head up to Illinois for Grandpa’s funeral.

7) March 21 – 25.  Either traveling to, staying at, or coming back from, funeral in Illinois.

8)  Kayla has spring break.  March 26-30.  Mark gets job offer at new job in Georgia and accepts it.  March 26.  Mom stays for part of spring break to spend time with Kayla, which we enjoy very much.

9) Kayla goes back to school.  March 26.  Mark gives notice at his current job.  March 26.  We decide where we are going to live (which is in the town where I work) and I begin search for rental house.  (March 26 – 30.)  Put our house up for sale by owner.  (March 27.)

10) Saturday, March 31 .  Mark and Kayla come up to look at potential rental houses with me.

11) Monday, April 2.  We make a decision on a rental house; I start working on lease application and other details.  We plan the first move (some stuff to the rental house, some stuff to stay in our house).

12) Easter Weekend, from Thursday night through Monday – we go to beach.

13) Tuesday, April 10 – Mark starts new job in Franklin, Georgia.  Kayla and I are playing bachelorette for this week, with the three dogs to help us out.  We also are doing a little bit to get us ready to move some stuff to the rental house on Saturday.

14) April 10 – 11 – I get cable, phone and internet at new house set up; am still working on the utilities.

15)  In the meantime, I have been going to Physical Therapy to work on my Achilles tendons three times a week for the past two weeks.  Physical Therapy takes about 3 hours.

So, as you can see, it’s not that I have exactly been wasting my time frivolously; it’s just that I don’t seem to quite have enough hours in the day to accomplish what I need to get done!  Relief is on the horizon though; once we get moved at least partially to the rental house, one major task will be off our to do list, which always makes everything else more manageable.

Have a great day everyone!  I’ll find something more interesting to share with you tomorrow.

Nancy