Friday, August 10, 2012

Life's Goodbyes

We got the call this morning that my husband's mother had passed away in the early hours of the morning. She had been sick the last few weeks and just placed in hospice care the day before. So we knew it was coming, it just happened quicker than we were thinking. However, this morning while I was sitting and working on crafts, I kept reliving the past years in my mind that I had known my mother-in-law. I think because she was so much on my mind, that the phone call was not unexpected.

I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law. I hope that when my turn comes, I can be the kind of mother-in-law that she was to me. From the very beginning, she made me feel like one of the family. I never felt like an outsider at any time. My husband and I were young when we were married. We had not worked for years to save for a big fancy wedding. Both of our families worked to provide us with a wedding that we look back on with great memories. My mother-in-law got the ladies of her church to make finger foods for our reception. A lot of the finger foods set out at our reception were made by her.

This was just the beginning of the past twenty-nine years. When I gave birth to my first son, she was so excited. She arrived at my house the day after we got home from the hospital. What a help she was. Being a first time mother, I was worried about everything. She just jumped in and helped, and showed me that babies really do not fall apart.

Since that time, we have had three other children. Elsie always wanted to know how they were and worked hard to give them goodies while they were growing up. I remember my older two boys wanted a television to have in their room to play their nintendo games. Elsie saved aluminum cans until she had enough to cash in to be able to buy them a television. Davey and Chris shared that television until Davey was well into his high school years.

My children loved her cooking. My daughter was so excited that cookies were actually made by scratch and didn't come out of a package. I remember a trip a few years ago where Brittany just sat on a stool in the kitchen watching her cook. Elsie knew that my youngest son Adam loved her stuffed shells. She always made a point to make those whenever she knew that Adam was going to be with her. Chris loved her cheese cakes. Our last visit to see her, Chris was not able to go with us. Elsie mad him a cheese cake for us to take back to him. Of couse, she always had crab cakes for us. There was nothing like her crab cakes. My oldest son is a Marine and he loved her cowboy cookies. Whenever he was deployed, she always made her cowboy cookis and sent to him while he was in Afghanistan or Iraq.

These are just a few things  that will always be in my memory. She was always an encouragement to us. What a great teacher she was in her quiet way. I am sorry that we lived so far away and did not get to be around her more often.

The last few months were filled with pain for her after a painful surgery. We know that now, she feels no more pain and is in a better place. We have shed tears today because we will miss her and her presence in our lives. As I look through pictures and think of her grandchildren, not just our children, but all ten of them, I think of the legacy that she has left behind. She will not be forgotten. This week as we prepare to say our earthly goodbye to her, I only hope that through the years, that we can carry on and pass  the life lessons that she taught us to those younger members of our family. Even these last few years when her health was beginning to go down, she would sit in her rocking chair crocheting blankets to donate to cancer patients. What a legacy we have to live up to. So to Grandmom, we say thank you for your never ending love and service that you gave to all of us. We love you and will miss you.

This is Elsie with four of her grandchildren. This picture was taken about a year and a half ago. We had just picked up our son, the Marine at the airport. He was in the process of moving to a new duty station. Elsie took us all out to dinner that night. Even though it was a quick trip, we had so much fun that night. 


  1. Lovely post!
    A beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law.
    My condolences to you and all your family!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. We have felt the prayers of all our friends.

  2. You have lots and lots of wonderful memories of your mother-in-law. So sorry for her passing. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. We are never too old to start writing, good luck to you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It helped me to write about her. Thank you for joining my blog. I am learning as I go, but having lots of fun with it.

  3. What a lovely Blog! I am so sorry to hear about you much beloved mother-in-law, you have beautiful memories of her to share : ) Sincere Sympathies to you all.

    I love your crafts by the way and thanks for becoming one of my followers : )
    Have a nice weekend,

    1. Thank you for reading about my mother-in-law. It helped to put thoughts and feelings into words. I love blogging. There is so much you can do with it. I also love crafting. It's fun posting about it and looking at what others share. I look forward to reading yours.