It has been 3 weeks now since my mother-in-law passed away. Some events in life are harder than others to process. I wanted so much to immediately write a fitting tribute. To combine my love for her with my writing skills, and just write the hell out of a tribute — in a way that would make me proud, my husband proud, and do this fine lady justice. Frustration! The words didn’t flow. And I can’t exactly say now that this blog is writing itself. But as part of making peace with her passing, as part of my grief process, as part of my prayers for her resting in peace, at last, I now write.
My relationship with my mother-in-law, Grace, got off to a fine start but was interrupted. We chatted, and smiled and laughed and had an immediate fondness for one another. Yes, I thought, she really was as outstanding an individual as my husband had made her out to be prior to our introduction. I let my mind then even wander a bit into our future. (Of course, as an Aquarian and aspiring writer, I have trouble staying in the here and now anyway.) But I imagined her beautiful smile and maybe a twinkle coming from those incredible blue eyes when we announced there would be another grandchild in her future.
None of this would be our collective realities. A beastly intruder known as Alzheimer’s Disease came uninvited into her life. It crept its way into her body, slowly but surely, eventually taking over the lay of the land. In doing so, it changed the course of her life, naturally, as well as that of my father-in-law, Joe and soon the lives of the rest of the family.
Grace will soon have a fitting and beautiful memorial service, with dozens of family and friends in attendance. Their stories will help fill in the blanks for me. Help illustrate exactly who she was and what it was like to know and love her, without the ever-present and rude Alzheimer’s beast breathing over our shoulders. And so, simply I say that it was a joy, albeit briefly, to know you. Here’s to your strength, your spirit and your soul, Mom. Here’s to Grace, with Love.