My Mother-In-Law passed away on October 5th. It was not unexpected just much quicker then we thought. Much, much quicker then we all thought. The woman that raised my husband and his brother and has lived quite the amazing life will be missed.
In August we spent 2 weeks in Hawaii to wrap up our summer. It's a rare occasion when we leave the beautiful summers of the Pacific Northwest for Hawaii. We'd much rather visit in the winter and have some reprieve, even if just for a week, of gray skies. T had been working A LOT and was super stressed out and really needed a change of scenery so tickets were bought and we stayed as long as we could, which was 15-days.
As always we were excited for sun, family and the beach.
About a week prior to leaving my mother-in-law called us and delivered some terrible news. She had recently gone to the doctor due to recurring pains and illness she had been suffering with for months. She learned she had stage 4 cancer, in her bones. My MIL had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and 2013 which resulted in a double mastectomy; both times it went away. This time it was bad and it was shocking. To say the timing was terrible would sound selfish but I know T was feeling it because Hawaii, this time around, would be filled with numerous doctor visits. But you do what you need to do for family. T's brother also flew to Hawaii so they could both go through these beginning appointments with their mom.
Again we got the news in mid-August and were able to spend a lot of time during our visit to Hawaii with her. T and C spent a lot of time "getting her affairs" in order should they be faced with the inevitable. My MIL did most of this years ago, because she was super smart that way, so much of what the boys did was ensuring that their names were added to accounts and all the t's were crossed and i's were dotted. We left Hawaii on September 5th.
3-weeks later my MIL was hospitalized and it wasn't looking great, at the end of September T & C both flew back to Hawaii to care for their mother who had requested home hospice care as all treatments for cancer had ceased due to her deteriorating health.
3-days after T arrived in Hawaii his mother passed away, at home, in bed with her son at her side.
My heart swelled for him so badly and I was so thankful he was able to spend his mothers last few days with her.
There was no funeral, no wake. My MIL had donated her body to the University's medical school, this was done years prior at her choosing. Her son's instead, took a group of her best gals to a lavish dinner where they could celebrate her life and swap loving, funny, kooky stories. It was what she would have loved to have happen. Her loved ones together celebrating and sharing their love for her.
Although I remained in Washington I know that this was something my husband wanted to do alone, with his brother. With no worries of other loved ones he had to cater to. I have yet to really see him grieve. He's been swamped in dealing with all the "paperwork" that comes with closing the book on someone's final days. He has now lost both parents, I've seen how strong he really is, much more then I ever imagined. Just like his mother.
Since her passing I have learned so much of the woman that is, was, my mother-in-law. My knowledge of her was what she had shared with me via stories and photos, which honestly was not a lot. Or what my husband and brother had shared with me which was just a sliver more then what she shared. She lived a very colorful, privileged life and my thoughts of her have changed so much as a result. Now there is the woman I knew and the woman I wish I had known.
To be continued.