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Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Memory of MIL

One of the most notable things about my MIL was how none of us "in laws" were good enough for her "kids." In most of my marriage I was not ever really sure if Mom liked me. Mark says I'm crazy, but truthfully I never knew, she was not a person who wore her feelings on her sleeve. In my family it was truly the opposite, my Mom used to joke that "God forbid" something ever happen to Mark & my marriage, she was keeping Mark. :)
MIL & I were very different personalities. I'm open with my feelings & share much about myself. Many people would probably say I share too much. I push others to get to know the depth of their souls, not just the surface stuff.
Mom's life was changed drastically when she lost Bill at such a young age. I spent much time with Mom alone, both in the beginning of our marriage when we lived with her during her recovery from breast cancer & the end of her life, when she lived with us b/c of the progression in her Parkinson's & Parkinson's dementia. In both those times of her life, we talked about her early days alone after Bill died. I pushed her to hear her stories, to get to know her in a deeper way than she usually allowed. She would tell me that in the beginning right after Bill died she "just couldn't think about him, because it hurt too much." She told me her kids got her through b/c she had to be there for them. And that little Markie kept her going. He was just 2 years old at the time & would ask for his Daddy often, not understanding he was gone forever. An image that still breaks my heart. As each of Mark & my children turned 2 years old, I remember thinking about how it would feel for them to suddenly have their hero disappear.
Mom & I spent many hours alone together in her final years. Many stories couldn't be told by the end, as Parkinson's stole much of her memory & her voice. She taught me everyone deals with loss differently, some shut down their feelings & march forward. It probably isn't how I would deal, but that doesn't make either of us wrong.
I am grateful for the time with her & the memories we shared. I know I pushed her in a way she might have been uncomfortable with, but in the end I think she knew I loved her & just wanted to know more about her. I think although I would never be good enough, I think she knew she was leaving Mark in good hands & I would love him through all of lives challenges. Thank you Mom for sharing, when you probably just wanted to forget. Life stories teach us more than any academic curriculum does & you were a great teacher. Mom, enjoy your reunion with Bill. I hope you know I loved you and most importantly, I promise to take good care of your baby boy. Till we meet again...

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