It’s taken me a while to write this, but on Monday, August 25, 2014, at almost exact 4 pm, this world lost a remarkable woman.  At the way too young age of 58, after eight months of fighting for her life with a ferocity that left everyone watching in awe, D’s mom decided it was time to rest.  In her last days, she taught me so much about life and love and strength.  No one loves life or their family more than this woman did, and I’m convinced that’s the only thing that kept her here this long.  When she first came home on hospice, she was given 48 to 72 hours to live, and she made it 17 days by the power of sheer will.  We were blessed to have some really good days in there.  She was awake, alert, relatively pain-free, and just as full of spunk and wit as ever.  The last several days of her life saw a steep and steady decline until she smiled and took her last breath.  She died the way she lived:  peacefully, smiling, surrounded by family.  My sister-in-law said something beautiful a couple of days ago.  “She was with us (referring to her and D) when we took our first breath, and we were with her when she took her last.”

Our last family portrait, minus my father-in-law, who took the picture.  It was taken at her request.

It was obvious by the nonstop parade of people paying their respects Wednesday night just how many people loved this woman.  People we had never even met.  We laid her to rest on Thursday after a beautiful service.  She looked positively stunning, more like herself than we’ve seen her look in months.  Several people spoke and did a fantastic job of honoring her and her legacy.  A couple of family members picked out songs that held special meaning for them or brought back special memories.  The youngest granddaughter had them play “I Won’t Say That I’m Okay” by Front Porch Step, an acoustic indie band.  Awesome song.

So now it’s about finding a new normal.  Everyone will feel her absence, but it’s going to be especially hard on her daughter and her husband of 43 years.  She and her daughter were the best of friends.  You never saw one without the other.  They did absolutely everything together, whether it was a shopping trip, a beach trip, or a trip across the country to visit their son/grandson.  It will be so hard, but we’ve all acknowledged that we just have to step up and keep doing all the things she would have wanted us to do.  We all went out to eat Saturday night as we have done as a family unit so, so, so many times before, and it just felt so strange with her not being with us.

One day at a time.

I will never remember her as the bedridden cancer patient.  That only defined the last few days of her life.  This is the beautiful, vibrant, classy woman that will forever be my mother-in-law.

With my father-in-law
With the oldest granddaughter

Taking selfies trying to get a photo for her real estate company’s web site.  haha

With her sister a couple of Christmases ago

Master Griller at work at one of our epic cookouts

With D

With my sister-in-law and me in Destin FL in my bleach blonde days

Gorgeous even when she’s sleeping
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4 thoughts on “

  1. I am so, so sorry. I lost my Mother-in-Law on July 31. She was diagnosed with cancer in March, and while we had some very difficult days during her treatment, she died suddenly from a blood clot. Your family is in my thoughts!

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  2. What a beautiful woman. I love hearing about all the visitors you met for the first time that she touched in some way in their lives. 🙂 She was a wonderful person! Hugs to you and your family!

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