A shadow of her former self…

 

Like a cat leaving a room

What dlo you do when home is far away

 

Music for leaving

 

Not sure why, but I was thinking of my mother-in-law today.  We shared so many interests.  I discovered even more after her death. Going through her things, she collected fans and vintage hankies, like I did.

We purchased our home with the idea of Jeanne living with us. The house had a lovely guest apartment at the end of the hall, full kitchen, walk-in closet, huge living/bedroom, private entrance, with a wee garden outside the door…though we gave her the entire yard. When we moved her in, we just assumed she’d be with us another five or ten years.  But little more than a year later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her surgeon told her she had about eighteen months to live.  When I told my sister, she said, “Oh Sharon, she may last about two months.”  She was right.

Jeanne and I used to go to concerts all the time.  In fact, before she moved in with us, she would often call from California, tell my husband to take care of Daniel, she was going to fly me up so we could go to the Sacramento Music Circus…a series of Broadway musicals.  We made at least two, and then dinner, and laughing, and storytelling, and laughing, and breakfast and laughing.

One night, when she was still alert, I went into her room (hospice turned it into a hospital room) with a small cassette player.  I told her we couldn’t go to a concert so we would have a concert right here.  I climbed in bed with her and played John Michael Talbot’s, “Come to the Quiet.”  I held her like a mom holds a baby and began to realize that death at that point – was really a birth.   She looked up at me, and we didn’t have to share words.  We just knew. There was great peace.

Three days later she passed, without fanfare, quietly, like a cat leaving a room.