So I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done a post, other then my Food Diary (see Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them). I wanted to catch everyone up on why I’ve been so quiet with the blog during August and know that I do plan to get back into the swing of things this month.
The month didn’t start off well. After a relaxing week away with the family on our annual beach vacation at the end of July, I started off the next week, August 1, by getting on a plane that evening to meet up with my husband in Raleigh, NC. He had gone back down there the day before because his mother was terminally ill with cancer. So me getting on the plane was, while seemingly simple, more emotional then you could imagine. See, I was going there to say goodbye to my mother in law and just be there to support my husband. I know it may be hard to believe but I actually had a real friendship with my MIL. We got along really well because we respected each other, allowed each other to voice opinions that sometimes differed, had similar interests and genuinely liked each other. Earlier that day, they had started hospice for her so I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy visit. I am not going to go into more of what was happening while I was there because I think some thing are necessary to keep private but when my husband and I left there Tuesday night to drive home, you can imagine that tears were shed and the ride was somber. My MIL passed away peacefully at home on August 11, 2016 with my FIL (her husband of 46 years) by her side. She was 66 years old.
We went back down to Raleigh, as a family, to be together in those first few days after her passing. But, as hard as it was, we came back home and had to re-focus a bit because my older daughter had her birthday only 5 days after she passed and I had to make sure that she still had a perfect birthday and got her attention. Also, we had decided to do a “celebration” in honor of my MIL at our house that weekend right after my daughter’s birthday so I had to prepare for that, too. And as if life wasn’t crazy enough, we took another short break to celebrate my father’s birthday and then it was on to preparing for my daughters’ joint birthday party the weekend after that. During this time both of my daughter’s were with me so I hope you can grasp how when you have all this going on and 2 kids with you practically 24/7, it’s hard to find the mental time to focus on my blog, let alone, anything to actually discuss.
Here are the thoughts I managed to pull together about my MIL – don’t judge, I’m far from a wordsmith but wanted to capture my memories before I started to forget my favorite things about her.
I wasn’t sure where to start with how I felt about Ronna and how much I appreciated her.
When I first met her, she was just Josh’s mom. Over time I got to know her better and once Rachel was born, I felt like we truly had a special friendship. She was not only my mother in law but a friend – someone I enjoyed talking to and spending time with, going shopping with (she really loved Coach purses and in recent years, it became Toms shoes she “collected”), asking for advice from, and learning and sharing recipes with. We even shared a love of reading.
She was so patient and kind and compassionate. I know she tried not to smother me in ways mother in laws are often known to do and I appreciated it and truly felt lucky.
She treasured her family and traditions were important to her, especially Thanksgiving which was her favorite holiday.
Having grandkids just made her so happy! She sang songs with them as babies and was always willing to engage with them in whatever way they wanted, including playing games (Zingo being a favorite), doing their nails, playing babies, and more. She even came to the rescue a few times in sewing up a tattered costume or even as recent as our visit to Raleigh in April, sewing up a hole in a beloved beanie boo.
She clearly loved dogs and treated her original grandbabies, Max and Shayna and Sully, like her own dogs. Showering them with love and worrying when they weren’t well.
Her assistance with our house projects was immensely helpful and she was definitely willing to get down in the trenches to help when I clearly wasn’t. She enjoyed almost all remodeling projects, not just the ones she and Eli did together, but watching them on TV. She even liked to hear what projects Josh was always working on, even before he started his own remodeling business.
Her love of sports ran long and deep. As long as I’ve known her watching football was an important weekend ritual whether it was the Miami Hurricanes or the Miami Dolphins, she was a devoted fan.
She enjoyed gardening, which as someone with without a green thumb, I never understood. But I believe it gave her peace and pride.
I think what people will remember most about Ronna, besides her yummy food (lasagna, meatballs, turkey and stuffing, zucchini bread and brisket), was her warmth. I know it is what I will miss most.
Now it’s September and I’m finally getting back in to my “new/old” routine of school and activities. I had my younger daughter’s birthday earlier this week on her first day of Pre-K followed immediately by my anniversary the next day. So, I’M FINALLY DONE with all the planning and celebrating and looking forward to finding the time again for myself, including cooking, shopping, etc. that I get to write about on this blog.Just going to end this little post by saying I miss my MIL dearly and I think about her every day. I know grief comes in stages and comes and goes and it gets easier as times goes on but she was taken too young and it happened rather fast so it’s been hard to process all the emotions surrounding her passing. I’ve had a whirlwind month of emotions and while some say the birthday’s were a good distraction from the grief, I know that some of those emotions may hit me harder now that I have that time to myself a bit again.
On a happier note, I included the first picture at the top, taken last Thanksgiving because looking at it makes me smile. She didn’t love to have her photo taken often so I’m really happy I caught her enjoying a moment by the fire pit while we were all roasting marshmallows. And the bottom photo was taken on a family vacation February 2015 when we went to Naples to celebrate her 65th birthday.
Ronna, may you rest in peace and know that you are truly and deeply missed.