A Resilient Woman

In 9 days my mother-in-law will be 88, but she isn’t going to make it.

Taking a break from the “freaking awesome” parade, I’ve been at the hospital several days including spending New Year night in the recliner in her room.  Mom had a massive heart attack early New Year morning and the doctor called us about 5:30 for permission to do a cardiac procedure.  The hospital is at least an hour from where we live so between trying to reach my SIL, talking with one daughter and texting another we weren’t able to get to Everett till about 7:30. 

They had already done the catheterization and the news wasn’t good: they couldn’t use a stent or balloon – there were too many blockages. Mom is not a candidate for surgery either.  All they can do is try to manage it with meds.

When I asked the nurse whether the family should be told to come she said yes and my heart broke.

This strong, generous, and loving woman welcomed me and my children into her family with wide open arms.  She has been through much in her life – losing her father at a very young age, being neglected by her grieving mother, years later losing her first husband and having to support two small children and her mother, having a second husband leave while carrying his child. 

However, she and her third husband, my father-in-law, had a 50+ year marriage.  I never saw them unhappy or angry, though I’ve heard my husband’s stories, and it’s clear it wasn’t always a fairytale romance. 

Now the three remaining children have gathered at her bedside, along with some of the many grandchildren.  She slept most of yesterday, waking only minutes at a time to greet each newcomer. Her nurse said it would likely continue this way – the sleeping for long periods interspersed with short waking moments, until she doesn’t wake up again, leaving a huge hole in the fabric of our family.  

I’m so glad she found her prince in the end. As sad as the loss will be for us, I hope she gets to see him again soon.

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