Saturday, August 1, 2009

Musings and Missings

My mother took the "tour of death" a few days ago. No, no she is fine. She went on an outing with a friend to: an old folks home, a crematorium, and the (local) National Cemetery. The reasons for the locations are not important; having something to do with visiting, errands, and curiosity. Whatever the reason she was reflective later and wanted to talk about plans.

I listened to her plans and wishes making suggestions, and doing voice impressions of my siblings as they will sound in arguing about her final wishes. I challenged her to come-up with a better plan in a few instances, that kind of thing. She laughingly noted that while the other (5) siblings won't even talk about it, threatening to run screaming from the room, I am playing devil's advocate.

Before you go judging me as a wicked child, listen to my side. I do not expect my mother to pass soon in any way, shape, or form. She is healthy, happy, and in complete control of her life (she's only in her 60's). This is the time to talk about it. It doesn't bring me a sense foreboding now. It is a distant event, hazy and pain-free. Another reason is that I have experience. Being the wife of an only child, we were thrust into this process 6 years ago. And it SUCKED. Sitting in the hospital while a loved one is ill and trying to discreetly ask about her wishes without intimating that the end is near is truly awful.

Of course the conversations with my mom reminded me how much I miss my MiL. She died exactly 1 year + the length of Youngest's life ago. (Yes, youngest appears to have been born exactly 1 year later - a fact Teen says we should never confess to her.) In contrast to the stereotyped MiL relationship, I had a great friendship/pseudo-daughter-relationship with my MiL. Of course there were times when I was a teen that I am sure she could've thrown me from a roof, but my own parents felt the same
It seems that 6 years has passed in a blink, yet she has missed so much.

I can almost hear her laughing with Teen over her hair-color-of-the-week, getting a kick out of the fact that we face the same personality we posed as teens. And I envision her basking in Boy's charms and challenges, as she faced many of these behaviors with her son. These 2 have memories. They remember a Nana that would move heaven and earth for them; who would take their side in almost any situation. A Nana who gave-up her entire life in Chicago to move to Sunnyland because she was determined to spend the remainder of her life near them. But Youngest has no experience with this. It makes me sad, because this is just the type of doting admiration that would appeal to her princess nature.


  1. I have a truly wonderful MIL and the same kind of relationship that you had with yours. I am grateful that she is still here and only a phone call away. She has her affairs in orders.
    My mom does, too. Except she will tell her five surviving daughters to put their names on what they want. I keep telling her that I don't want her things, I want her to be around for a long time.
    I feel sorry for my girls because they didn't/don't know either grandfather very well. My DIL died when the oldest was 5, the youngest, 2. My dad lives an hour away and as life got busier, visits got less often. Now he's moving out of state.

  2. I think that you are smart to be talking about this with your mom now. It's not morbid, it's proactive. Having been in a situation a year ago without everything being in order, I never want to do that to anyone else.

  3. I've talked to my dad about his plans. My brother and I told him the same thing. As long as his plans end with the balance sheet reading $0, it's all good.

    My relationship with my MiL isn't all that great, but neither is my wife's with her mom, but I honestly think my wife gets along better with my mom then I do. She's the daughter my mom never had :-P

  4. Boy this must be the week for reflection and sadness. Grandma and Joanne have popped up in every turn this week. Met a dear old friend of the family this a.m. and the first words she said were boy do you look like your mother but I bet you're not as good as her. No one could be.

  5. ~Surprised Mom: I am thankful that my mom is close (both physically and emotionally) to my kids. It lets me feel they have somebody else to turn-to when they need it.

    ~WeaselMomma: I know what you mean - it is all more difficult that way.

    ~OhCaptain: That is pretty much what I have told my mom too.

    ~Kathy: It must be in the air.


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