Re-write number 8.
It has been a full week since the worst happened. My MIL passed away and I am still very, very raw about it. She was too young, had to fight too hard (cancer), and she was just too incredible. She left behind her boys, her husband, friends and family, and my boys – my kids loved their grandma like you would not believe.
I have been sad, exhausted, been anxious about life without her, angry (and taken out that anger at times on the people I love – I’m an asshole), and also been numb quite a bit.
Why do you care, when you don’t know me, our family, or the whole situation? I’ll tell you why: because we lost THE quintessential Good Mom and now we have to live without her unending gifts to the world. My MIL was as much a mom to me as she was to her own kids, taking care of me for the last decade in so many circumstances. I will draw on those memories in future blog posts, but for now, I want to recap what I learned from one of the greatest human beings of all time.
- Love your kids no matter what. They are the people you created so love them without bounds. She loved her boys with all their amazing qualities and quirks and worked hard to give her kids everything she possibly could. I will do the same even when my boys are at their worst behaviour. It is when my little guy is acting out that I need to channel the patience that she had and try as hard as I can to know what is wrong and make it better with the endless love I have for him. (That’s what grandma would do too).
- Accept that people – friends, family, and even your foes (she didn’t have any but lots of us do) – aren’t perfect and love them anyway. I don’t really know how to go on about this because there are just a million examples of how she accepted everyone. I will aspire to accept all the imperfections that make up the personalities of the people I love.
- Just listen. Sometimes, that’s all people need. When someone asks you to hear them out, don’t ask a million questions or try to reason or put your own two cents in if the situation doesn’t call for that. Just. Freaking. Listen. She heard thousands of hours of my blithering and always had time when I needed it.
- Be one of a kind and in that uniqueness make your mark on the world. You are your own person and you create your own future. Go do it. Don’t just dream, live your dreams. She taught her boys this and so will I.
- And the most important advice ever. Although life is hard sometimes, tiring, and tedious: Don’t wish your days away. She told me this a few months ago. I remember how she said it, and I know why she said it. And knowing she meant it, I have tried to cherish every moment since: every little smile from my kids, interaction with my husband who is also my best friend, time spent with my family and friends, and all the little tiny mostly unassuming memories made in between.
If you cross my path in the next while and I don’t notice you right away, or if I look wistful, it’s probably because I’m just taking it all in. Life is indeed short, and shorter for some than others. Let’s all try to be good to each other. Let’s try to make it count.