February 25 was a special day at our house this week. We hit the one year anniversary of the passing of my mother-in-law, Michelle. For all those who have lost someone dear this post is for you.
Before I begin I just want to thank all family and friends for your continual support. It has been a life changing event for everyone involved and in one year, we have all grown and developed in so many ways.
Here's our story in a nutshell: She was only 47 and was taken by esophageal cancer. Diagnosis to death was only 6 months. She fought hard with a round of chemo and radiation followed by an esophagectomy in December of 2012. Prognosis looked great until she was admitted to ER on Jan 11, 2013 only to find the cancer had metastasized to the liver. This means it was fatal and it was only 6 weeks from that point that she assed away.
She was survived by a husband and 4 children. I am married to her oldest son, Demetrius and we have 2 kids of our own (her only 2 grand kids at this point).
When we found out the cancer was in fact fatal, my husband and I had a very spiritual conversation. As a member of the LDS church we refer to this as the Holy Ghost, but it is the same as the spirit. I truly believe God spoke to us that evening and showed the path we were to present to my inlaws.
Michelle was belated at hearing such an offer but was concerned about our family's life and routine. As the year has passed her concern has been validated...time with my kids has drastically changed. But as my life increased with more time cooking, carpooling, cleaning, soccer, basketball, and whatever else (you name it), I honestly cannot picture it any other way. No matter how heavy it feels sometimes at this point we are all exactly where we need to be; all together and as a united family.
At the end of the day I know that this is God's plan for my family of 4 and for my in-laws family of 3. When I get cards from my husbands side of the family giving me personalized "thank yous" my heart just swells up with the spirit and it helps me keep going. We can in fact buoy each other up through small acts of kindness, such as a card!
Anyway, The path we presented meant the family had a 4 hour move north and into our just big enough home. Michelle's health deteriorated quicker than anyone expected, we did everything we could to empty and consolidate our basement to make room for the big move. (That is like the understatement of the century, with 2 kids under 2 and sooo much work to be done in a 3 week period... Whew, God definitely sent me strength.)
The move in with us was truly was the best thing we could do to keep the family together. She passed away only 2 weeks within moving in, leaving her husband, a 15 yr old and an 11 yr old to start sharing a daily life routine with us.
Ok, the facts are laid out, time for the uplift. Although we are not perfect, although we are figuring out our path in life, one day at a time, we need to remember we are on the Lord's errand.
When I can almost literally see my sanity cup about to spill over from suddenly having an added 2 teenagers on top of my 2 toddlers, God sends me a message and I honestly believe Michelle does, too. It's pretty cool, it has happened almost every two months since they've moved in.
The most frequent came from a prayer said aloud from one of the teenagers stating, "We are grateful to all be together as a family and to not have a broken home." Oh how that grabbed my heart! Yay for tiny glimpses into teenagers hearts! It reminds me this is God's work and it is huge! It's so much bigger than me!
I'll share the first real emotional awakening as well because I think it's pretty funny and it was pretty embarrassing for me! It was more of an overwhelming emotion, the 11 year old scored in his soccer game and I started to cry! Seriously, tears rolling down my cheeks, a very mom-proud emotional moment sent to me no doubt from my mother-in-law. I really am not an emotional person, but it's moments like these that let me feel a lil more love and a lot less frustration. I turned to my husband sitting next to me and sniffly through my words shared, "I didn't know I liked him this much!" Of course I love him like a sis-in-law but if I was solely that role, I most definitely wouldn't have been crying my eyes out. Yep, Michelle was there with me, giving me a mom moment!
I hope the spirit can guide us to reach out to someone, big event or small. Whoever it is, let them feel a part of something, let them feel love. Please share about those whom you have and if they have reached out to you from the other side.