Sunday, March 7, 2010


So many feelings have been fumbling around my heart. I have been surprised how profoundly Granny's death has affected me. She and I have been in each others lives since 1966. That is a long time. At the beginning of our relationship, I was a very young eighteen year old nursing student. I was naive girl. I was unaware of the impact I was probably having on her life. All I thought about was myself. In time I fell in love with her son. We married and had children of our own. I now know how I changed her life. I did not know how to share. She did not either. But, as time went on, we were forced to reinvent our relationship. Her son and I divorced. She wanted her grandsons to remain in her life, and I did too. We were actually more understanding of each other once my marriage was over. Once before I was to have surgery, when my teenage boys came home from a visit with her, they tossed a note to me from Granny. She told me she had been praying for me and wanting my fear of surgery to be eased. I have the letter still. As I have grown older, and my sons have found the loves of their lives, I understand how she must have felt. It is a part of life to have your babies grow up and leave. They find someone to replace you. It is something you have known was going to happen and you accept it, and find your heart opening up to embrace them. In thinking back now, I think I did not let myself get into her heart. I wanted to be there, but, not until I am now a wise woman, do I realize that sometime between then and now, we got into each other's heart. I had to grow up first. I am so glad I got to visit with her in the last weeks of her life, or I do not think I could bear it now. Her death has affected me in ways I could not have imagined. I know I may never see some of my brother-in-laws again. I may never see their children again. It is not morbid thinking. It is just the reality of our busy lives.

I was at her visitation, and funeral. I had so many feelings. I felt a part of the family. I felt like an outsider, too. I saw old friends of Granny's and was able to reminisce with them about the old days. Then when seeing all the pictures of her life I realized I was not in any of them. Time had moved on and her grandchildren grew up and had children of their own, and I was no longer a part of that family. It was strange how my children, who are the closest people to me in my life, have a whole lot of family memories that I have not been a part of. That is the way it is. It is not thought of every day of our life, but, when a person leaves our life, we think about all of these raw feelings.

She was a big part of my life. She was the mother of my husband. Even though marriages do not work out, it does not mean you no longer have feelings for someone. I have found that out in a big way this past week. I am so glad she was in my life.
I will miss her. I know her sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will too. But, I know her daughter-in-laws, and grand-daughter-in-laws will too.


Beverly said...

Beverly, I'm so glad you used your words here. I'm glad too that you were able to spend some time with her before she died. Too often we let circumstances keep us from doing the things we need to do.

Hugs to you as you consider all this and make your precious memories with your sons and dear grandchildren.

Thank you so much for giving to Great Strides. I will send a proper thank you note to you soon.

Darlene said...

At first the relationship between a new wife and the mother of her husband is difficult. You were very wise in the way you handled your relationship with your mother-in-law.

Now, being on the other side of the relationship, you are able to be a good mother-in-law to the women your son's chose. I admire your wisdom and your honesty at being immature when you were a new bride.

Beverly said...

You both make me feel so much better. Your kind words help me....

One Woman's Journey said...

Beverly, with a divorce in my life - I understand all you shared.
I am so pleased you shared your feelings and memories. Life has many paths - we realize this more and more as we grow older.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

it seems these passages, cause a major life-reflection, and in your case, so much has been learned and there are so many positive experiences. How nice you remained friends and you can now look back from that perspective. It could have been different were you a different person. A really beautiful thing!
May your grief be eased by knowing you preserved this relationship.

Anonymous said...

I went through the exact same thing with my ex mother-in-law. She died several years ago at 94 and I went to see her before she died as well. She taught me so much that I use in my daily life. She was a very wise and wonderful person and I loved her very much. This post brought back a lot of old feelings.

Beverly said...

Again, I can only say, your words have helped me deal with her loss.