Today my mother-in-law died.
Blunt, I know. But that’s how I’m feeling. Everything I do–every normal activity–is tainted with it. After every fleeting moment of normalcy, it comes back to me. Barb’s gone.
What the heck? How does that even happen? How do people just disappear? Is that legal?
You can just be living one moment and gone the next? That’s sick. That’s maddening. That’s…
Un-freaking-fair. Unfair because my four kids were supposed to have their grandmother there at their high school graduation. Unfair because my husband and I were supposed to watch her age into her 90’s and worry about if she was going to burn the house down with her cigarettes. Unfair because somehow I believe that we–the whole freaking family–deserved more time with her.
But here we are despite the unfairness. Despite how I stood by her bedside and attempted to will her back to life. Despite how I sobbed silently through the night and begged God to “send her back to us”.
Here. We. Are.
How do we go on without the woman who decked a guy, knocking him over a bar when he tried to trip her? How do we go on without the woman who nicknamed her sister-in-law “Becky the B****”? How do we go on without the woman who drove the bus for her son’s wrestling team and was the most vocal critic (ie, screaming things slightly nicer than profanities)? How do we go on without the woman who wanted to be cremated and placed in the center of the table at a local bar while we all partied?
How can we go on without the woman who loved Purdue, Lady GaGa, and–most of all–her family?
Because she’d want us to. And I’m pretty sure she’d find some way to come back and kick our butts if we didn’t. That’s Barb. And I think there will be lots of memories and stories for years to come where we throw our heads back, laugh, and say, “That’s Barb!”
And despite it all–the tragedy, the unfairness, the loss–one thing hasn’t changed:
We will always love her.
Rest in peace, Barb.