There is something that I wanted to post before, but I hesitated. One reason is because he didn’t say anything, so I was waiting to let him if he wanted to. Secondly, I try to stay lighthearted here, and this is not light. I told you before that this time of year is very hard on me. For several reasons, but this one stands right up at the top.
So, if you are looking for humor, check out the archives. I’m not feeling funny right now.
Eight years ago, I lost someone I loved very much to suicide. She is someone I loved, respected and admired. We had just gotten to a point in our relationship where we were getting closer and I started to need her more. And she left me. I am talking about my mother-in-law. She was a woman who was larger than life in personality. When she spoke, you listened (whether you wanted to or not.)
How do I describe my relationship with her? Think Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond…only more so. Yep. That is how we were. There are many memories that I look back on and actually smile about now (even though at the time I found nothing funny about them.) Now, I smile and miss her even more though at the time I thought I was going to completely come unglued and lose it.
My favorite story is from our wedding rehearsal dinner. Everyone was standing up toasting the bride and groom and sharing stories about us. So she stood up and said, “Before Clint met Jenn, he was dating a really sweet girl.” I waited for the rest. Nope. That was the complete thought. It is hard to explain how she meant that as noninsulting, but in her own way (I later came to realize) she was just saying that he chose sweet girls. It took me years to understand that one. Since then, I have always referred to that ex as “the sweet one”. And it makes us both smile, too.
And then of course we have the time that she was coming to visit us in our tiny apartment right after Kidlet Sr. was born. I scrubbed that place for days. You could eat off of the floor. It would totally pass the white glove test. Everything was neat and clean. So, I was pretty confident there would be nothing out of place to point out. However, within 5 minutes of being there, she opened the microwave, looked at me and said, “You know, that would work so much better if you kept it cleaner.” Argh! The microwave? Who would’ve thought that would be what she would zero in on? Now, I laugh about it and keep my microwave very clean. She’d be so proud.
So, why am I sharing stories that probably make her look bad? Because those stories are precious to me. Now, they make me smile. They make me remember the things that completely made me crazy then, but that I would give anything…anything to go through now.
I miss her.
At first, I was so angry at her I couldn’t see straight. I so badly wanted to hate her for what she did. (I couldn’t.) There are things that I heard and saw that weekend that still haunt me, but they have eased with time. I had nightmares and sunk into a deep depression for a while, too. I was in shock. If you asked me to name the very last person on the face of this earth who would take her own life, it would be her. She was the strongest woman I knew. If she wasn’t immune, no one was. That scared me. And it really made me angry.
There were too many years wasted with her when I felt she couldn’t accept or love me. The fact of the matter was, it was just who she was. She loved me. It took me too long to realize how much.
You see, she and I just found a great relationship. We had just come to a point where we could really talk. I knew I could talk to her when I needed motherly advice or a shoulder to cry on. I had finally gotten to the point that I always wanted to be with her. She was my friend. And she left me. I was pissed. When my mother-in-law chose to leave, I took all the anger and pain I felt towards my own mothers disease and then added the pain of my mother-in-laws suicide and knotted it all up towards my her. I couldn’t be mad at my own mom because it wasn’t her fault that her disease took the mom I had always known away from me and left me with someone I don’t know. She had no say in the situation. But, I could be mad at my mother-in-law. It was her choice. I have since forgiven her and am no longer angry. At least, not as angry. If I let myself think about it, I can get worked up about it again. But, for the most part, I just laugh when I think about some of my fondest of memories of her.
I hope and pray that somehow, someway she is watching over us and she can see her son and her grandbabies and know that maybe…just maybe, Clint did marry the sweet one afterall.