Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Love and Loss
Over Labor Day weekend, my husband lost his mother to heart failure. She had been in the hospital since the fourth of July due to an infection that set in after foot surgery the month before. She was a fiery woman who spoke loud, laughed heartily, had many friends and loved hard, but most of all, she was a fighter. She had faced many obstacles over her fifty six years of life, had to overcome many adversities-- and had always come through stronger than before. The saying "That which does not kill me makes me stronger" really applied to her. So her death came as a total shock to her family and friends.
We all thought that she would make it through, that the infection would be healed by the antibiotics. There was no way of knowing that she would acquire an allergy to the antibiotics, there was no warning when the woman who spoke so much, was no longer able to form words from all of the pain she was in. Her quickly deteriorating state came out of left field, leaving us in shock when we found out that her heart had failed her.
The call... words can not describe. We were not prepared for that call. I can't imagine what my husband felt at that moment, I can't imagine what he feels now. It's tough. It's hard. But we will make it through.
A week before my mother in law passed, she said something that will live with me for a long time to come. "For me, it's a win win," she said. "If I live then I get to spend more time with my children, my grand-babies. And if I dont..." she trailed off and smiled knowingly. "For me, it's a win win."
Because of this--her words--I am able to go on knowing that she was prepared for death, even if we were not prepared for the loss her dying left us with. I like to think of her passing as her winning, because by her hearts thinking, there was no way she could lose.