Many of you know that my mother-in-law died tragically in a car accident on March 17th. It was obviously very sudden and devastating and I have watched almost helplessly as my husband has mourned her loss these past few weeks. I too have felt the loss but not as violently. I grieved at the hospital for my husband as he was suddenly orphaned at 29 years old.
I grieved at the funeral for my children - over the absolute want they would eventually never know because of their young age. DeAnna, my mother-in-law was a Grandmother. She did not just live to be “Noni”. Since living was not something much in her control. I believe these last few years she woke herself each morning to be Noni. It was the essence of who she was. They were such fortunate children to have been a part of her life. I wish they were old enough to always feel that.
Today though, I grieved for myself. I felt my very own part of her absence. She was everywhere in my home today. In the countless number of books she has given my children these last three years. I saw her when I saw bunk beds, sheets, and blankets she’d purchased for my oldest two this past Christmas. I saw DeAnna on my walls, and centerpieces as I recalled how she always complimented the way I decorated.
Before today I had felt regret for the way I had sometimes treated her. I was horrible to her in the beginning. Not in the things I said to her but in the things I did not say. I know she wanted to spend more time with me, deeply desired to get to know me. But for some reason my pride would not allow it. I was not cruel to her, just sometimes indifferent.
Since her death I have had feelings of remorse for the way I had used her. She was always ready and willing to watch our kids on a moments notice when we lived closer and as often as she could more recently with the distance between us. Oh how little I appreciated that compared to how I should have. I knew I had a good thing there. I told her often how much I appreciated it but I don’t think I really felt the full weight of the sacrifice of her own time. I didn’t stop long enough to think about it before.
My husband and I have expressed at length how much we regret not reading more of what she wrote while she was alive. We have poured over it since she’s been gone. She was a phenomenal writer and we only knew a small extent of that before. What a treasure her writing has been to us now though.
All of these thoughts I have dealt with and accepted over the course of nearly three weeks. God blessed our relationship tremendously the past six months and we had become good friends during her frequent visits to our house. That is how I am remembering our relationship.
This time all I felt was a lacking, a loneliness. I have lost my mother-in-law, my friend, someone with a treasure full of wisdom that I could have gleaned from. I feel it sharply this loss! And today I grieve.