Call When You Get Home

Well, we survived my mother-in-law’s funeral.  I really don’t know how but we did. It actually helped that I felt like crap. Though it also hurt that I felt like crap. That might have contributed to me wanting to kill one of the relatives a couple of times. I didn’t though. That was for you, Sally.

I went over to break the news of her passing to her sister on Thursday.  I got there to find her and her son sick with a really bad cold. Apparently, it took me a little too long to tell them or should I say calm her back down. Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat and the sniffles. That feeling kept getting worse as the weekend went on. It didn’t help that my husband made me go with him to every dinner with his brothers. He thought being around people would make me feel better.  I just wanted to crawl in bed with a cup of tea.

When I arrived at the chapel on Saturday for the visitation, I was greeted by a horrible picture of my mother-in-law.  We had given them a photo from their 50th anniversary for my father-in-law last year. Instead of using the photo we gave them for mother-in-law, they used the one from the year before so that they would be the same age in the memorial portraits.  That had been the best photo for him but the worst one for her.

When I finally made it up to the casket, she didn’t look anything at all like Sally. She never wore eye shadow but they put some on her. She never wore lipstick but there it was on her lips. The last haircut she got was done without me there at the care home and that was way too short for her. It didn’t look a bit like her in that coffin and that helped. I took all the photos out of her wallet and slipped them in the pockets of her sweater.  That way her family will always be with her.

The funeral home said they have been slammed lately with funerals. It’s unreal how many they have been dealing with since before Christmas. You can tell by the sermon that was delivered.  I absolutely adore the minister and he is the one that Sally requested. You could tell though that he was tired. He did a good job but it came across that he would have rather been home in a warm chair with a game on instead of out there in the cool, damp air. That made things easier to handle.

Sally was always constantly cold and my husband, John, was constantly making fun of his mom for being cold. It could be 100 degrees outside and she was wearing a sweater. It can be 40 degrees outside and John could be wearing shorts. Not the day of the funeral. A little bit after he had a moment of weakness, he said he had to go get his jacket since he was freezing.  I was hot and pushing up my sleeves. Our temps normally run about the same.

Sally’s favorite thing in the world was cheese enchiladas and frozen margaritas. That’s where we headed after the funeral. While we were sitting there eating, all of the sudden, I saw John shiver. I looked up at him and he said it must be the iced tea making him cold. Cold drinks never have that effect on him. Drinking cold tea always made Sally cold though. That’s when I started to wonder. Is that Sally’s way of letting him know she was there with him?

We stayed until Monday so that all three boys could help with picking out the headstone. It’s been almost a year since we lost their dad so it’s time for one to go up. That took some time so we didn’t get home until Monday afternoon. We were barely home when I got a text message from a realtor we had been working with last year trying to get our business going.  When both mothers got so bad last fall, I told her I had to walk away for a little bit. Sally had hated the fact that we put it all on hold to take care of all the parents. The timing of that text was just too perfect. I think it was Sally’s way of saying she made it there fine and now it was time for me to get my butt to work on the business. It’s actually classic Sally.

Some may not believe in signs but I say you have to have an open mind to see them. I’m thinking she is letting us know that she is still with us but she’s fine. She gave John comfort and told me to get living. Thanks for giving us a call to let us know when you got home, Sally!

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