faith family

Joy and Sorrow

Yesterday was a day, family. My beautiful, amazing, wonderful, God-fearing, God-woman, Proverbs 31 epitomizing, dynamic, special, loving, and treasure of a mother in love (MIL) transitioned into her eternal resting place. What a beautiful thought that is. And how absolutely heartbreaking is the joy and sorrow it brings.

My MIL was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer 2 years ago. It was right around Thanksgiving when we found out. The family gathered around, took over the waiting room (there are a LOT of us), and prayed beyond prayers. The doctor initially stated that she had months, but then recommended treatment options and we watched her rally… at first.

We celebrated every birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, holiday that she was with us. It was another miracle. It was another step forward. Then, she started to have missteps. Blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, overnight stays, week stays. Still she prayed and encouraged. She made us smile. She made my children smile. She gave me Godly wisdom. And we loved her.

The missteps became more frequent though her strength and rallying cry never dallied. Her spirit never broke. She maintained her faith and loved God with a great passion even through her pain.

Yesterday, when it became apparent that this may indeed be the day that God would call her home, I tried to prepare myself. While my husband and father in law rushed to the hospital accidentally taking the vehicle that held our carseats so that I could not follow, I coped the way I tend to do–by cleaning or baking. This time I did both. Baking toffee-topped caramel filled brownies after sweeping the floors and tidying up the room of my mother “just in case”.  Then, I sat down and waited.

Sure enough, I received the news that she had transitioned and I felt a mixture of sorrow and joy. The sorrow for the days that I wouldn’t see her again. The missing lilt of her laugh, the wisdom she gave when asked. Then, the joy. The joy of no more pain and sorrow. The joy of reunions–sister, parents, friends, family.

I went into her room and had a conversation with her presence.  I promised that our children would always be reminded of her.  They would hear of her and know her stories and memories.  I meant it and that promise will be kept.

It will be easy.  My MIL was absolutely beautiful.  There was no negative in her. She was a beautiful woman and I can only pray to be half the woman that she was.

Rest well, Mumma. Until we meet again.


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