There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unprepared

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with a neurological disease about six years ago. From the beginning, we've known that it is terminal. With every passing birthday and holiday, I've considered that there won't be many more of these.

Yet her death seemed so far in the distance. It was easy to think that when she was just a little unsure of foot. It was easy to believe it was so when she was living at home and keeping her weekly beauty shop appointments. Even when she moved to a nursing home two years ago, it seemed so far away because she was still so vibrant, just physically impaired.

Last Christmas, I thought about what gift to give her. She loves pictures of my kids -- her only grandchildren -- so I considered a photo calendar...until the reality hit that she likely wouldn't live to see the smiles of their printed faces for each month of this year. (We went with a digital picture frame instead, which has brought her hours of joy.)

I try to place my calls to her room when I think someone might be there who can answer the phone and hold it up to her ear, allowing me to tell her tales of the kids' antics and accomplishments, as if it were one of those long and winding talks we used to have when we both were home watching Oprah. Though now the conversation is one-sided.

Since Mike lost his job a month ago, he's taken advantage of the free time and gone to see his mom several times. Each time he's come back and reported the latest devastation of her declining condition.

And now, we've come to a point where we are not measuring the remainder of her life in months, or even weeks, but in days. And I am unprepared.

21 comments:

Nancy said...

Amy, you will all be in my prayers.

Momza said...

There really aren't words that describe what I'm feeling...just know that from where I'm sitting, I'd like to reach out and give you and your family a HUGE HUG. And a casserole. Mormons bring lots of food when we serve others. And sometimes jello with carrots. It's just a thing we do.
I'm sorry these days are dark for you.

cindy said...

(((Amy))) you are all in my thoughts.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Praying you feel God's comforting embrace...

Christy@WickedHappy said...

praying for you and your family.

Elisabeth said...

Amy -- My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mike and your family.

Gay Wakefield said...

As difficult as it is to say, "Goodbye," what a blessing it is to have that opportunity. I truly hope Mike, you, and your children will embrace the blessing of leaving nothing unsaid; no regrets. Love surrounds all of you.

Janet said...

Amy -- you are as prepared as anyone could be. You are prepared that the disease was fatel. But being prepared for her death and tangable presence in your life is a whole different thing.

Hugs and prayers.

Rachel said...

I am so sorry. How wonderful it is to have someone that we care about so much, and to have someone care about us. Thankful for the gift your relationship is to each other!

Praying for peace.

Nate's Mom said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your family Amy. No one is ever truly prepared. May you experience the peace that passes all understanding when the time comes and know that she is smiling on you from a place where she can sing and dance again.

Sheri in CA

Linda said...

My prayers are with your family.

Linda in Winnipeg

photographybykendal said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Amy. May peace be with you all.

Rebecca Cameron said...

So sorry for you, Mike and the kids. Will be keeping you in thoughts and prayers, Amy!

Rebecca Jo said...

We're never prepared for something like that, are we? I'm so sorry... sending you all hugs & prayers as you see what the next few days hold for you all. Praying for comfort & peace for your MIL as well...

Stacy Lynn said...

Oh, Amy...your family is in my prayers. We went through something similar with my mother-in-law who was a wonderful woman. It is a tough time, but it can also be a time of great blessing if you let it.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I'm not sure anything can prepare you, Amy! Know that you have our love and prayers!

CWMartin said...

Amy, I know what you're saynig having just went through it with Laurie's dad. Believe me, that family was SURE they could handle it until it happened. No body knew how they would feel when the day finally came until it finally came. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Molly said...

Amy,
I am so sorry to hear this. Wishing you, your family, and your mother peace. What wonderful things she has to look forward to........

Lana said...

HUGS to you and your family. It is so hard to let go of someone you love, but I hope that your will feel the wonder and love as she leaves you to go to a place where she is once again whole. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

Even though my best friend tells me there are too many Amys in my life, I'm adding you. (My sis, sister in law, girl who does my hair...)

I remember when my father was diagnosed with cancer. My mom had died about four years before that, so I knew the pain of losing a parent. Dad lived much longer than predicted, about three and a quarter years, but we had many of those, "could be the last" kind of days.

It became very clear when the real last days were. Frightening stuff. But, corny as it sounds, God WILL see you through. I didn't believe that then, didn't know Him then, but looking back it was all Him.

I'm sorry you're hurting my new blog friend.

Ellie from Illinois
(my husband is in Indy right now visiting his family)

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

I've been thinking about you since my last comment.

If you visit my blog, and you click on the Vicki label, you will learn a bit about my friend who died in November. I've not written about too much of it in depth, it's still too new. She was 24, she had leukemia.

When she lay dying, I was IMing with her mom. I told Helen to expect some relief. She understood, and she did. Such a blessing the her girl was out of pain and in God's arms--after accepting Christ only hours before meeting Him.

The relief was blessed, but now her family grieves for her every day. It's all necessary, awful and very good at any moment.

I miss both of my parents.

I'll pray for your family.