Today has been a day of feelings. I felt broken-hearted, fragile, low, angry, overwhelmed and exhausted. I thought I had this grieving thing under control. After all I’ve been through this before. No matter how many times you experience grief; it’s doesn’t get any easier. It’s flippen hard and damn complicated.It’s been 2 weeks since your passing and today has really hit hard. I had my moment, I was alone at home, the weather was pretty miserable. As the rain drops rolled down the window; so were the tears streaming down my cheeks. I had an uncontrollable reaction to what I have lost – a remarkable mother-in-law, a woman of strength and courage. I broke down and cold no longer suppress my feelings – I had to let go.
At the same time, the memories came flooding back.
I remember our first encounter as if it was yesterday. To be exact it was at 18h00 on 31 August, the year 2000. It was your birthday. Before then, I knew you inquired about me as I later discovered your curious nature. I’ll admit, I wondered about you too. I was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect. All of my fears faded the second I stepped into your home. You welcomed me with warmth and I knew that the reception was genuine. From that moment, we had a connection and never would I have imagined that it would grow into a stronger bond. Before I married your son, you made me feel part of your family and the day when I married him; I became one of your own.
We all know that mother-in-laws have earned the reputation of ‘mom by the law’ and ‘monster-in-law’. They known to have turbulent relationships with their daughter-in-laws. Thankfully I have never experienced this. You weren’t a conventional mother-in-law. Instead you were a remarkable mother-in-law who had an open-mind, had no prescribed expectations of how I should wife and later mother. You knew your relationship with your son was completely different to mine for this reason competition and jealousy never played a role. You accepted me for who I am, flaws and all – I was enough for you. Many people admired our relationship and would gasp when they discovered we were family by marriage.
I don’t know if I thanked you enough for your constant support over the past 20 years.Thank you for the values you instilled in your son. You played a vital role in the man he is today. I want to thank you for your guidance, your encouragement and lending an ear to listen when I just needed to talk to someone. Thank you for your quirkiness, your sense of humour, the spontaneous silliness and the laughter. In addition I loved that you were unapologetically honest when things didn’t sit well with you.
You practically raised my daughters and witnessed so many firsts and milestones. Undoubtedly I knew they were in good hands and trusted you wholeheartedly. Thank you for being there for them when I couldn’t. You spoiled them and loved them unconditionally and they loved you immensely too.
Throughout your pain and suffering, you were always optimistic, never complained as you didn’t want to burden us with your ill health. Just know that you were never a burden, we cared and assisted out of love.
I don’t wish to turn back the clock as our relationship was built on having no regrets. Therefore there is no could’ves, should’ves and would’ves. Instead I will forever value our time together, our coffee dates our daily telephone conversations and all the special moments. I am forever grateful that I was blessed with the best and the memories will always hold a special place in my heart. You were a remarkable mother-in-law.
Rest well. Love always…