This past weekend we said goodbye to my former mother-in-law of 15 years. She was a good woman; kind, generous and a little quirky. Her independence however, tipped the richter scale. This woman single handedly raised her son alone. She worked as a nurse and made her way through life on her own terms.
She was a people person to the 10th degree. She never sat alone for breakfast. She would make her way to the local diner and created her very own version of the breakfast club. After some time, their group became quite large and breakfast was spread out for a few extra hours.
She worked very hard and at times she took on two jobs. She had her regular shift of nursing and on the side she worked for a nursing agency, travelling to people’s homes who were unable to get to the doctor , doing blood draws and collections. She did what she had to do and then some. She saved her money and planned trips around the world.
Working until retirement wasn’t enough for her. She liked getting out there with other people so she took a job at a local Walmart. She loved that job and she loved those people she worked with.
As I stated before, she was my former mother-in-law. But, she was more than that. She was the grandmother of my children. The woman who always made special traditions for my kids. She impacted their lives until , well, she still does, even after she passed away.
We gathered for her funeral on Saturday. My children are grown and came together along with their children and I was included ,along with her son. We celebrated her life as we came together for 3 glorious days of fun, nature, laughter and tears. And, while her son and I are no longer married , for three days we were a family again. The perfect send off for a woman that lived and breathed “family”. She was right there with us as we enjoyed each other in her kitchen, gathered together around the center island eating massive amounts of food which could only make her proud. We went for long walks in the woods as a family. We laughed and enjoyed each other.
A moment in time that we may never see again. And, for that moment, we were one unit. The joy in my heart of being together with my children and grandchildren is a gift brought to me, courtesy of my former mother-in-law. In the end, it doesn’t matter that she was my former anything, or that my former husband was involved with us this weekend. In the end, we were a cohesive family enjoying our differences and celebrating a life well lived.