Saturday afternoon I was sitting with my family watching my niece’s softball game taking place somewhere in southern Ohio when something told me to check my cellphone. My husband had texted me and I also had a missed call. His father was not going to make it. The family was all gathered at the hospital to say their goodbyes. I called my husband and he tearfully told me what was going on. He was waiting his turn to talk to his Dad for the final time. I told him to tell his Dad thank you from me. Later in the evening when I called back my father-in-law had passed. Although he didn’t appear conscious I was told that after each person came into the room for the final time he would squeeze their hand in acknowledgement. My husband took a cellphone picture of his mother sitting by the hospital bed holding his Dad’s hand. I’m not sure what compelled him to take a picture at such an intimate moment but regardless he did and sent it to me in Ohio. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. His Mom clearly did not know this was taken and I caught a glimpse of a woman whose face was filled with love and sadness as she held the hand of the man she has been married to for nearly 50 years.
My husband has been holding up okay. The funeral is this Friday and I can’t imagine this will be an easy day for anyone. My in-law’s church has been very helpful in visiting my mother-in-law and preparing meals. Yesterday morning she had visitors at the house also from the church. There is a family friend who was over with his wife. The man started to talk about how after three months that grief going to hit her hard because that is what happened to him after the loss of a parent. I could see her chin start to quiver and I really wanted to tell this guy to keep quiet. While I’m sure his intentions were true, she is overwhelmed as it is. She doesn’t need that right now as she is going to have to get used to life without her partner. I suppose people don’t really know what to say at these times. When my bestfriend’s husband died a few years ago I remember her telling me that a co-worker of hers told her that she knew exactly what she was going through. When my friend inquired the co-worker told her she had been through a divorce. I told her that the person probably just didn’t want her to feel alone in her grief. That of course, could be a complete guess on my part. In truth, no one knows what to say.
So, its been a busy week here. Family is coming up from Mexico and Texas, and a few members will be staying at our house. Next week some time I will right about my father-in-law and his life. He was such an interesting person and I could not have asked for a better father-in-law. He had complete faith in God and had no fears whatsoever when it came to his life ending. He will be greatly missed. Vaya con Dios.