Death doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints

I've been a bit obsessed with Hamilton for the past month and I think I have most of the lyrics memorized. Don't be surprised if you see more posts with lyrics for titles--maybe someday I'll even write about my feelings and why I love the show so much.

Mr. Fob's mom died three weeks ago. When people ask if it was expected or not, I'm never quite sure what to say. Everyone thought she'd be around much longer, since her mother just died five years ago and was in her nineties, and her grandmother lived to be a hundred. With that kind of longevity in the family, seventy-three feels kind of young. But, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer and the fact that she made it nearly a year after diagnosis is quite remarkable, especially without undergoing any treatment. She had also been fairly stable until about a month or so before she died, and then the decline was swift. I feel a little bad because I haven't been very involved during the last year--I've been busy and Mr. Fob is married to someone else now. No one in his family has ever made me feel excluded in any way, but I'm also not really in the thick of things anymore. To be honest, I'm not sure I ever have been, and that's all right. He has five older sisters and I was the first sister-in-law, and that's a hard adjustment for everyone to make. Plus I tended to defer interactions with his family to Mr. Fob, since they're his family and not mine. I'm just glad Mr. Fob has a good relationship with his siblings and that they are all close to each other. 

As far as mother-in-laws go, she really was a great one. I first met her the day before our wedding--she and Mr. Fob came to meet me at work when I was finishing my shift. She had brought me an orchid lei fresh from Hawaii and gave me a big hug. I don't ever remember her criticizing me or saying anything unkind to me or my children; she was always generous and loving with us. The first seven years of our marriage she was still living in Hawaii and so I did not get to know her very well because we only saw each other on occasional visits. Every time we came to see her, though, she was always a wonderful hostess and happy to have us and our kids in her home. She moved to Utah in 2008 and we ended up spending several weeks living with her while moving from Washington to California. I still feel a little bad because that visit didn't go very smoothly. Little Dude was only two and having a very difficult time; I was having a hard time with the move and Mr. Fob's new part-time job and living in someone else's house. She also wasn't used to having small children around all the time and was adjusting to living in a new area, so we stepped on each other's toes a lot. That whole summer is one part of my life I'd like to go back and do over. 

Like I said, though, she was never really unkind or unloving to me, even after we got divorced. She never had much money and wasn't always in good health, but tried to give whatever gifts she could. We went to visit her in Hawaii in 2007 right after I had graduated with my master's degree. She wanted to host a special meal for us, but was using food stamps at the time. She saved up and bought some steaks to cook a fancy dinner for me, and fretted for a long time about the fact that people might see her buying steak and judge her for it. I thought it was really sweet--and the steak was delicious. For Christmas this past year she gave me a big bundle of holiday-themed paper goods. It was an excellent gift and made our Christmas breakfast festive and easy to clean up! Those are the kinds of little stories about her that I know I can share with the kids some day. She didn't live a big life or a fancy life in any way, but she did live a good life and I learned many lessons from her. I'm sad the kids won't get to know her more than they have and that we won't have more time with her here on earth.  

I'm not sure how to end this post--I have a lot of mixed feelings and it's been a hard month for this and many other reasons. The funeral was lovely and a great way to say goodbye to someone so special. It still feels a little unreal to me and might not for a while--and that's OK.


The Weed said…
What a lovely tribute. She sounds like a wonderful, kind woman, and I'm sorry for your loss.

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