On Random Reflections

Before moving on to my regular posts, thought I would put together some random thoughts from last week.

Last week, my MIL’s older sister (from Detroit) was visiting her daughter (in Denver). She was able to change her flying date and destination for $15. Unbelievable, so thank you Delta! She arrived in Cincinnati during a snowstorm, so time awarded me by extending my 40-minute drive from the airport to 130 minutes.

As an in-law, I approached dealing with a death in the family with caution. Given only two siblings, I was there for support, but had judge when it was appropriate to give input and when to stay put. If the family was bigger, I can’t imagine even being part of the discussions.

Over the past ten days, I had many thoughts about mother (who passed away in 1987). Being too weak for the 3-hour ride, she never made it to our new home. As we are planning a move in the spring, another mother will not be able to visit a new home.

I cannot recall who told me this great advice many years ago: When a baby is born, don’t forget to ask about the mother. As an in-law, our role is to support our loved ones during grief – and I did – but that doesn’t mean our hearts aren’t heavy and we don’t grieve. So the next time you have a friend lose a parent, also attend to their spouse. That spouse may simply say they are OK, but I’m betting that they are very appreciative.

We didn’t know a church friend worked at Hospice, but my wife saw her when I wasn’t there. I happened to be in the room early Monday morning when she stopped by. As we talked, she quoted something I said to her three years ago after my dad passed away: “My dad had 84 pretty good years with one real bad day at the end – so that’s not too bad.” To think she remembered that shocked me. Well, my MIL lived 1025+ months, so four difficult months isn’t too bad.

That same Monday morning at Hospice, I witnessed wonderful kindness – let’s call them the flower guild. There are two teams: Mondays and Thursdays. On those days, the flower guild volunteers gather donated flowers from florists. At Hospice, the volunteers create bouquets for the patient’s rooms. My SIL and I smiled watching them work while seeing and receiving the results of their efforts – so this Monday, I took some of the funeral flowers to the flower guild.