In Which I Make A Promise

Only I didn’t know I was making a promise. 

This story involves my mother-in-law, an OCD little controller. Perhaps she was this way because her father was like that, and she learned those behaviors. Perhaps it was reinforced by her Swedish mother who was a perfectionist in word and deed, an immaculate housekeeper, and an educator. 

At any rate, it took years for her to calm down. This effect was made possible by cancer. She learned to accept things and move on, because sometimes things were bigger than the control we have over them. 

She could be an angry little woman when things didn’t go according to plan in those early years when I first knew her. I wasn’t part of her plan. Eventually she learned to accept me when she was presented with her first grandchild, a granddaughter. It seemed that I was able to achieve something she had never been able to do. 

That day came when the little granddaughter graduated from high school. 


See that black strap around my MIL’s neck? She carried a small spray water bottle in a holder that she wore everywhere she went. The radiation for her mouth and throat had destroyed her salivary glands, and she suffered from dry mouth. Enter the water bottle. 

On this day, while we were waiting in the auditorium for the graduation to start, my MIL considered that the next grandchild’s graduation would be about 17 years later in 2017. She said that she would be in a wheelchair because she would be 79, and I said that I would be using a walker, so I could manage somehow and push her in her wheelchair. 

But in 2006, that woman up and died. 

She and my FIL were out to dinner. They were in the bar having a drink while they waited for their table. He said, “We were sitting there having a drink, laughing like hell, and she fell off her stool.”  She had a massive stroke. She was flown to the medical university where they kept her on life support while preparations were made to harvest her organs. Heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, skin, and anything else that was needed. 

*****


Rest well, Barbara. I’m thinking of you.

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3 Responses to “In Which I Make A Promise”

  1. Luanne @ TFK Says:

    What a shocking death. I’m so sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

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