As spring has erupted in color and light, we have watched my mother-in-law reach the winter of her earthly life. She suffered several strokes in March, and her decline has been steep and steady. Death is drawing very close now.
Rick has gone back and forth to Wisconsin, first to comfort his mother and recently to assist his father. On Easter Sunday, we all left our brimming-with-life church service to travel the six hours to say good-bye. We arrived on a gorgeous spring evening, the Wisconsin fields golden in the warm light. During the few days we were there, our children pressed in, bravely sitting with and talking to their much changed Geegee. Through tears, I did my best to model courage in the midst of tender good-byes.
She was so diminished, no longer bustling about the kitchen, listening to our latest news with an interested “Oh?” She could not speak or move, but there was an occassional alertness in her eyes that showed she knew who we were and was glad to see us. My father-in-law tenderly cared for her every need, taking time to hold her hand and speak soothingly if he sensed she was agitated. We watched him carry out his vows of 52 years and were arrested by the beauty of it.
As we await her passing, we are focused on how best to serve my father-in-law and to shepherd our kids through this first, huge loss. We are holding all the items on our calendar loosely, our personal plans suspended for a time. We are honoring her life by walking closely through its final days.
This blog has lain sleeping while I have focused my emotional energy elsewhere. My creativity is demanded in other places right now.
Below is a glimpse into the diverse beauty of our spring.
©Laura Goetsch and Thinking about Such Things, 2017