Sorry for the silence...we're not currently having Adventures in Japan. Fearless Husband arrived home in Sasebo after a two and a half month absence. 12 hours later, we found out his mother was in the hospital and gravely ill. We scrambled, and with some help from the Navy and the Red Cross, we arrived in Nevada less than 48 hours after FH got off his ship.
My mother-in-law is an amazing woman. She's raised FH since he was about a year old, and has been a wonderful, loving, kind, laughing mother. She's tall and willowy, with big beautiful dark eyes and rich, dark hair and a gleaming, almost-constant smile. She and FH loved to trade books, and to tell each other about new authors each thought the other might like. She welcomed me like a long-lost daughter, taught me her recipes for FH's favorite dishes, and traveled all the way from Nevada to North Carolina to see her son marry me (and got along with absolutely everyone, the entire time!) She's gracious, elegant, and just plain fun to be around.
It's hard here right now for everyone. The grief and sadness is so sharp and heavy it's sometimes overwhelming. However, family has been brought together, old rifts have been healed, and though the illness was sudden, there has still been time for goodbyes to be made, and last words spoken. Those are the silver linings here.
.My mother-in-law is the absolute opposite of all those old jokes. I'm so lucky to have known her, and could not have picked a better mother-in-law if I'd had the choice of any in the world. Thank you, Annette, for your friendship, for your laughter, for welcoming me like a daughter, and for doing such a great job raising the incredible man I married.
I love you.
Edited to add: Annette died this morning. I'm so glad we got to come and say goodbye, and receive that last, beautiful smile.