After 60 years of marriage, and just over 20 months apart, my in-laws are now together again, this time for ever.
My mother-in-law, age 81, in less than the best of health but as feisty and determined as ever to live as independently as possible, passed away this afternoon, rather unexpectedly.
She had been getting around for several years using a walker, but was still able to drive most of the time, and had her schedule filled each week, seeing friends, running errands, going to the doctor, and getting her hair done.
We had the good fortune to have her live with us for the past four months, although both sides knocked heads from time to time. Her eldest son today said she was "very comfortable" living with us, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing many of her grand- and great-grandchildren regularly.
The past two years she had been busy compiling information for the five books she planned to write, and she had started three of those books, one on her life, one on her travels, and one on our favorite vacation spot, Indian Lake. I am not certain what the other two were to be about, but she did have many interests which could have filled many more books.
For many years she juggled a job, raising a family, and volunteering for many committees and activities at her church, the one she spent most of her life attending, and was planning to go there today. Alas, her next trip to her church will be her last, this Friday, as we say farewell to her then.
She was a generous and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and was always pleased to have family and friends around.
Our family gatherings will not be the same from now on; she will be sorely missed.
Sleep in peace, Mom, you have earned a well-deserved rest.