Monday, December 07, 2015

Song of the Week: "Let It Grow"

I was listening to this song yesterday while I was commenting on that list. It wasn't long after that we found out that my wife's mother, Mary, had died suddenly that morning of a heart attack. She was 62 years old. She was on the phone with 911 when she collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Mary was a Buddhist. She loved to garden and work in the soil at her farm house. She was excited that I decided to get into gardening over the summer and bought me my beloved hibiscus plant.

We didn't always have the best relationship, particularly in the beginning, when I was 18 and first started dating Becca. Sometimes we just flat out didn't get along at all. She was a caring and sensitive person, but she could also be volatile and sometimes even mean. She lost her second husband back in 2008 and had a bitter legal battle with her stepdaughter, and I think she just didn't always expect the best of people. She had been burned by a lot of people she knew, and was always worried about being the only caretaker for her own mother, who passed away just earlier this year.

But I had a lot of good patches with Mary. There was a time, back in the nineties, and again in the early 2000s, where we would just talk for a long time over the phone. As my agoraphobia and mental situation kept me indoors more and more, she was very, very understanding about it. She worried about me quite a bit, actually. Whenever she and Becca were out, she would suggest bringing me some food home. She would pick up extra food for us at the food pantry. She was actually knitting me an afghan for Christmas. Even though she could make me so mad sometimes, I was always grateful for her presence and her help and her encouragement.

She seemed to be in a very good mood lately; she and Becca talked a lot, and I know Becca's going to miss that a lot. She feels like, with her grandmother and mother gone, she's got no family left. (Though my parents will beg to differ with her on that.) They talked several times on Saturday and Mary was in a happy mood, talking about the kitten shelter she liked to watch on a webcam. It's still hard to believe she's just never coming back.

There's so much to deal with that I just never imagined having to deal with anytime soon. Her house, her car, her bills. I've never had to help make funeral arrangements before. I just don't know what to do. I thought it would be another two or three decades. She was one of my rocks, and I wish I had told her that. My world won't be the same again without her there. I feel like I've just had to grow up a lot so I can be there for Becca,

The service is on Wednesday night. I might post less, or I might jump on more to keep my mind occupied during down times.

So, this song... making me cry, but it's beautiful, and "Let It Grow" seems like the right sentiment for my Buddhist, gardening mother-in-law. Rest in peace, Mary.

5 comments:

Nathan said...

I'm really sorry to hear that. :( Was Becca an only child?

Nik said...

Very sorry to hear that. Parental death is one of the single hardest things to deal with, and I feel for you in the coming days.

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, I too am sorry about you losing your MIL.
Re: planning a funeral - I've planned two - you get folks in a room, ideally with whoever is going to officiate the funeral - and tell stories, figuring out her favorite songs or poems or your favorite stories about her. You piece together what goes into the funeral notice, including the usual stuff -"survived by Becca (Aaron...)"

You can email me if you have other questions...

Jez In Dallas said...

So sorry to hear this. Much love to you and Becca; I hope the process is as easy to handle as something like this possibly can be.

Jason said...

Hey, Aaron, I haven't been keeping up on blogs very well this month, so I just saw this news. I'm so very sorry. My condolences to both you and Becca...