Thursday, July 4, 2013
My mother-in-law passed away yesterday. I won't be able to attend the services and am spending a quiet morning remembering her.
She must have had many reservations about her son marrying a woman with two young children. She never shared them with me and accepted my children as her own grandchildren. I was welcomed into her family and never felt unwelcome at her house.
She was known as Nana to her grandchildren and me. Nana was a crafty lady. Always with a skein of yarn close-by. She would find a comfy chair upon her arrival to our house and sit knitting away. Until a meal was served and the clean up began. She would be up to her elbows in dishwater. You had to be quick to beat her to the sink and even if you made it there before her, she would manage to push you aside and take over.
It was a given that Nana would try to wash all the dishes, including those that were disposable. I find myself doing the same thing at times.
I mentioned her craftiness. She was a saver of raw materials to accommodate her passion for crafting. Pinterest would have made her crazy with ideas. I remember when my oldest needed an egg carton for a school project and I had tossed all of mine. Off to Nana's we went, sure that the problem would be solved straight away. She offered up a stack of egg cartons taller than my first grader. He took them all and the teacher was ecstatic. Said she would have enough for many years of children who forgot to bring one to school.
I started a wooden spool collection. Still have all the spools. Nana carefully wound her thread onto empty plastic spools in order to add to my collection. I am sure some of the thread was beyond using for sewing, but she saved it all just in case she might need that particular color one day.
Nana was a giver. She loved to give things to her children. She was often heard to say that her children didn't ask to be born and it was up to her to make sure she gave them everything she could to make them happy. I hope she knows that she succeeded in that respect.
She loved a good party. She out-danced all of us at my daughter's wedding. She was the life of the party and was there to help with the clean-up at the end of the night. A week later she was in the hospital recovering from by-pass surgery. That was nearly 14 years ago.
She never really bounced back from that surgery. Her memory was impaired by the anesthesia and I worried about her ability to keep her meds straight. She seemed to forget to take one altogether, or take one and forget she had taken it and then take it again. She was on a daily regimen of blood thinners and I was particularly worried about that one.
I realized that she wanted to maintain her independence and we did not live close enough to take an active role in her day to day life. The decisions were not mine to make, as she was not my mother. I am just the daughter-in-law that loved her and grieves for her. I am thinking of her today, as I did all day yesterday. Paying my respects from afar.
I am left with a little hole in my heart as she leaves this life and moves on to her next adventure. We saw lights in the sky last night as we made s'mores with our grandson. I think it may have been Nana entering heaven and saying goodbye.