As I said in my last post, my m-i-l passed away last Saturday after a long and exhausting illness. It is comforting to know she is no longer suffering and is now in a much better place. My personal belief is that her soul is now reunited with her loved ones that went on ahead - her husband of over 50 years and her parents and siblings. She was the last of that generation in her family.
surrounded by her grandson and great-grandson.
Because we had to schedule family members traveling from across country and the need to bring her ashes East, we have not yet completed the burial. That will happen next weekend and will culminate with a gathering of friends and family to celebrate her life. We will share photos and memories and, hopefully, lots of hugs and smiles. Mom always enjoyed her extended family. I think she'd approve.
In the meantime, we're sort of in a state of suspended animation. We've cried many tears, reminded each other of better times and, in our space and time, have mourned her loss. We will miss her tremendously. We've done all the phone calls, planning and preparations for events on this end. There's nothing to take care of for another week now.
I know we will once again shed tears and share our grief when the rest of the family gets in later in the week. For now, though, it's time to simply wait. We can't just sit and stare at the walls so we have proceeded with many of our normal activities but have done so with heavy hearts.Friday night concert at the mall.
Yesterday and today we judged a BBQ contest. It was a commitment we made many months ago so we proceeded as planned. This morning was one of the days I set out feeling very down and wanting simply to call and cancel. We were with people we've known for several years but, for the most part, they are not close enough to our family to have been part of situation. Many were aware Mom had been very ill simply because we had been forced to miss numerous competitions this season to tend to family needs.
Quite a few (both judges and cooks) ran over to say hello and ask about the situation as soon as we arrived. They were genuinely concerned to find she had passed. I was amazed at the many kind, supportive and sincere words these friends shared with us. There were several truly warm and comforting hugs and I'm glad we did do the event. I am once again struck by how wonderful, sweet and compassionate our BBQ family is.
It was a gray and rainy day - a bit depressing in and of itself but our BBQ friends managed to make me feel quite a bit better.
Thank you BBQ friends. I needed that!