Set yourself up for a sad introductory post!
I contemplated changing the subject. There are so many happy things I could write about. After all, I have countless, wonderful blessings in my life that I am eternally grateful for. Surely, I thought, it would be better to share those first.
But life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and we all know that. In fact, rainbows only appear after the rain. So I shall start where this chapter begins, since this is my reality.
It’s real. It’s raw. It’s my “why.”
So here it is: My mother-in-law is dying.
The strongest woman I’ve ever known. The toughest chick around. My husband’s mother and a second mother to my children. She is losing a battle she didn’t even know she was fighting.
She has ALS.
For years, she was exhibiting strange symptoms and the doctors were unable to explain them. So now that we know, it’s too late to fight. Her once sturdy frame is now delicate and unstable. Her formerly spirited demeanor, replaced by innocence as the disease captures her intellect. And it’s happening fast. So fast!
So what now?
In a perfect world…
In a perfect world, I would fix it. We would find the cure and there would be no more ALS in the world. My Mother-in-law’s health would be completely restored. She would wake up in the morning and come to our house bright and early to get the boys ready for school just like she used to. That’s right! Each day, she would walk in our house at the crack of dawn so my husband and I could leave for work before our babies even woke up. She was, as I said, a second mother to them. In a perfect world, it would be that way again.
While I like to play this fantasy in my head as I struggle with the reality of our world, I am aware that it is only a fantasy. Dwelling on it won’t provide my husband or children any comfort. And it won’t help me. So I do the only thing I can. I save.
I saved money to buy new equipment and register my business. I saved the cards she wrote to my children so they would have her handwriting forever. Most importantly, though, I save moments.
I capture the look on her face as she holds our baby, hugs my husband, and plays with the kids. I capture the interaction between her and our loved ones. I capture the joy on our children’s faces as they spend time with her.
I capture and I save.
So one day, when they miss her smile. When they badly want to see her again, and there’s little I can do. I can remind them. I can show them.
And they can be certain that their memories will never fade.
It’s for them. It’s for me. It’s my “why.”