We attended a memorial service for my mother-in-law today and it was a day of family bonding and reflection. The service was a “Celebration of Life” type thing and done very nicely. Lots of family photos, lots of talk of what a loving person she was. My husband’s family is not very verbal, but one granddaughter used the letters from the word “Grandmother” to describe the important traits that she had learned from Anna. It was very touching. She had the minister read it for her, as she said she knew she couldn’t get through it.
I was the only other person offering to speak (briefly!), but I was hoping others would follow and they did not. I’m sure the thoughts and feelings were there, but this group just isn’t comfortable with public speaking and maybe the emotions were just too raw.
Anyhow, it was good….and husband got to see some of his family that he hadn’t seen for awhile. It’s always like that, isn’t it? Funerals bring people together like nothing else, I suppose. The church people provided a very generous meal full of variety and we left filled with both food and emotions.
I came home and sat on my deck and just felt full of gratitude for all I have. My mother-in-law spent many years raising her 6 children in poverty, hardship and hunger and loneliness because of her neglectful, abusive husband. I have always had everything I need, including a husband who worked hard to make sure his children never knew hunger or deprivation. They had all the necessities and much, much more and so do I. I was filled with appreciation for my lovely backyard, which, BTW, has a gorgeous big deck built by hubby, three outbuildings also built by hubby, my gardens tilled by his hands, my little new patio built by him and my new clothesline, too. And that’s just my backyard!
He grew up in poverty, but he made sure his wife and children had everything that was (IS) in his power to provide, by his earned income or his own direct labor. How lucky am I to have that? And that, today, was what I was most grateful for–that we have these lovely things that bring us comfort and pleasure, but beyond that, that we have them together. We sat and reflected about our good fortune.
My mother-in-law turned out some good children, despite not really having a “team mate” dedicated to helping with the task. I don’t know how she held it together, especially after moving away from her close family that helped her through the early years.
I’m rambling….I’m going to make myself stop right here. Hope Anna is resting very, very peacefully tonight. She worked hard. She did good. Congratulations on your “graduation” to whatever world you now reside in.