I had to step back for a few weeks and just gather myself...
In March, my beloved Mother-in-law of 32 years died. It's hard to put her life in words but she was a remarkable woman.
Married at 15 and a mother at 16, she had a lively sense of humor, an extraordinary capacity for forgiveness and an often under-estimated 10th grade education. She lived for her children and eventually her grandchildren and great grandchildren. When I met her, she didn't drive and had never had a job. Yet she'd raised 3 children, kept a house, a yard, a checkbook and a smile on her face. After losing her first husband to cancer, she was left with nothing but a mortgage. She got a drivers license, cleaned houses for money, bought a car, got two jobs and finally found a career with excellent benefits where she worked for years before retiring. She met and married her second husband a little over a year after pulling her life together. As a couple, they worked hard, traveled, bought a beach cabin which she loved, and spoiled their grandchildren. After 18 years of marriage, she lost her second husband to cancer. By this time, she had her own health issues including a bad heart, which she rarely talked about. After a series of health scares early this year, from which she appeared to be recovering, the angels took her quickly and mercifully on a Saturday afternoon in late March.
I had the chance to talk to her twice in her last days. And it was comforting to know we'd said all we needed to say to each other before she left.
The one regret I do have is that I didn't hug her when I saw her earlier in the day before she left us. She looked uncomfortable and I didn't want to make her more so.
The promise I made myself after she left us was that I would try to say the words that should be said, hug as often as possible and appreciate my loved ones even more.
So if I haven't told you lately how much I appreciate you, consider yourself warned!
Hugs to all!