12:50 in the morning and I simply can not sleep. It’s been an unbelievably long and exhausting weekend, but my heart and head aren’t resting. As I have laid here and spent some time talking to the man in charge, it comes to me that today (4-17) is my mother in law’s birthday.
My mother in law wasn’t in attendance at my wedding. My mother in law never felt the joy of holding a grandchild. My mother in law and I have never had a disagreement about my child rearing. My mother in law has never been overbearing or butted her nose in my marriage. Unfortunately, she passed away nearly 13 years ago.
I often think of her and I think of her so fondly. I had the pleasure of meeting the man I would one day marry in high school. I had the joy of knowing his Mom for a few short years. I know she would have been one heck of a mother in law.
We would have went round and round on silly things. She would have thought I was too strict on my kids. She would have called me a “tight ass” and I can guarantee she would have told me to loosen up on a regular basis. I can be almost positive I would be telling my husband that his Mom drove me nuts on more than one occasion.
I think she would be brought to her knees realizing how great her son is. He is not just smart, hard working and driven. She would think he was a great Dad. I think she would enjoy watching him be a Dad. She would be impressed with his musical talent and probably make a joke that he got it from her.
She would be loud. She was loud and she would continue to be. She would still be a funny person. She would be honest, almost to a fault and people would occasionally drop their mouths at the things she would say.
Along with all these things, she would have loved being a Grandma. She was well known for her love for animals (of all kinds). Taking in strays and giving them a home was a normal way of life in her house. She wasn’t often found without an animal in her lap and I think she would have had plenty of room in that lap for my children! She would have thought my oldest was a clone of his Dad, even down to the brain he has in his head. She would have melted at the sight of that 4lb 3oz baby boy. Her heart would have experienced love that she can’t express. Probably one of the few times in her life, she may have been speechless! She would have said more than a few cuss words when we told her we were having twins. After it sunk in, she may have once again been rendered speechless. She would constantly mix them up. She would have joked that I needed to mark them so she could tell them apart. She would have told people, “that’s the redhead” about Asher. She would have plenty to say about his big head and numerous rolls! Oh yes, she would have loved my children.
She probably wouldn’t be donning an apron and baking cookies on a regular basis. I highly doubt she would have done arts and crafts with them, but she would have held them as babies. She would have smelled their heads. She would have been proud of their good grades and she would have made jokes when they got in trouble at school and she would have acted like it wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it. Her grandchildren would have been perfect in her eyes.
The truth is, I’m just guessing at how she would be. She would have delighted in the little things and would be terribly disappointed in my inability to grow flowers in my yard. In my dreams, she overcame her demons. In my dreams she didn’t miss graduations and weddings. In my dreams she visited the hospital and held all of my boys within hours of their birth. In my dreams she is still here and existing and loving in the way only she could.
For now, dreams will be what I have. I pray to God often and I ask him to relay messages to her. I think she receives them and they are interpreted in a way that only those in heaven can understand and she finds peace. She doesn’t miss us like we miss her. No, most certainly not. She doesn’t long for something more. She stares at fields of sunflowers and is in complete peace. The truth is she will hug her children again and she will meet her grandchildren.
As for now, I’ll remind my children that the Grandma they never met loves them. I’ll tell them about her laugh. I’ll share that she was brutally honest (she even hurt my feelings a couple times). I’ll tell them how she was a beautiful, petite woman like their aunt, but took no crap from anyone. When they’re more mature, I’ll share some stories of names she used to have for certain people. Ha-ha. I’ll tell them that she would have loved them with every fiber of her being. She would have thought that they were four of the best things this crazy world ever gave her and she would have been an integral part of their everyday lives.
As another earthly birthday passes and we think of her, I find comfort in her view. I find comfort in her peace that none of us can even fathom. My heart rests knowing that my God has held her for years now. My faith is what I have to fall back on when it brings me to tears that she has missed so much. My faith assures me she has missed nothing. My faith says that our time on earth is just the blink of an eye to him. I will hold on tightly to my faith and look forward to the day she embraces us all once again.
It’s now 2:11am and I have only 14% battery, so I guess it’s time to sleep.
Happy Birthday to you, my dear mother in law! I love you.