Saturday, July 28, 2007

Annette

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.

12 comments:

Mary Witzl said...

This is so sad, Carolie. And yet how lucky you are to have such a mother-in-law, and how wonderful that she is the complete opposite of all of those stereotypes. You both won the lottery, I think, in the mother-in-law/ daughter-in-law sweepstakes.

When my father died, I was somewhere over the Pacific, on my way home to see him. I have always regretted that I didn't make it home before he died. I comforted myself with the fact that at least he had gotten my last letter and the photographs of our baby.

Carolie said...

Thank you, Mary, for your comment, your sympathy, and your kind words. Yes, I did win in the mother-in-law lottery. Annette was such a laid back, fun, smiling woman. I'm so glad I got to know her, and SO glad my husband got to say goodbye.

I'm sad you didn't get to your father in time to say goodbye, but so glad you corresponded with him and that he got to see photos of his grandchild.

q said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your mother-in-law sounds like a wonderful woman to know.

Rock the Cradle said...

I am so, so sorry. What a wonderful woman...who left you wonderful memories.

You are all in my thoughts.

Mary Witzl said...

I am really sorry to hear this, Carolie. But I am glad that you both managed to get back in time to say goodbye. Your mother-in-law sounds wonderful.

Miz BoheMia said...

Oh no my friend! I am so sorry to return to the blogosphere and find you living such a sad event. She sounded amazing and you were both definitely lucky to know each other for I am sure she was delighted that her son married such a sweet woman as you!

And such mothers-in-law are definitely one in a million... take it from one who would trade hers in a jiffy!

I hope that all is well for you and FH and that the healing is happening whatever way it needs to be for all of you...

Thinking of you...

No Nonsense girl said...

I'm soo sorry for your loss. I lost someone that I loved 2 weeks ago and like you, I was glad to be there in the last moments.

Thinking of you and your family.

*hug*

Susie said...

Hi Carolie,
We are thinking of you both and wishing we could be there to give you a big hug. We talked with Chris and it sounds like Annette had a nice funeral and that the family really pulled through for each other. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We're praying for you and miss you a lot,
Susie, Erik and Jannah

Carolie said...

q and RtC, thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. She was indeed wonderful and I was lucky to know her.

Ms. B, so good to see you! I've missed you, my friend. Hope to touch base soon.

no nonsense girl, thank you for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment. I'm sorry for your loss...it's never easy, is it?

Susie, thanks so much for stopping by! We've been thinking of you three as well. Wish we could join you for Jannah's baptism! Take care of one another and we hope to see you soon.

Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, Carolie, I came to thank you for your business name suggestions and I found this post.

I'm so very sorry that you've lost your beloved mother-in-law! I'm thankful that you were blessed with the chance to say your goodbyes and see her beautiful smile one last time.

Take care, okay?

irreverentmama said...

Oh, my condolences. How fortunate that you were able to say your goodbyes - but sad that they had to be said. I wish you peace and serenity as you grieve for her.

Melissa said...

So sorry to hear about your mom-in-law. I hope she is better soon.