family, life

Send Down the Rope

I don’t even know where to begin to write this difficult post. I hope you’ll follow along anyway, because this is important … to me.

Last October, I wrote the post Grow Old With You, about a married couple who were devoted to one another for over sixty years. At that time, my husband’s father had made his transition to the other side.

R4boys (800x542)Mom and Dad with their four grown sons (7 years ago).

After he was laid to rest, my husband’s mother said she’d start clearing out their house so it could be ready for her husband to “throw down the rope” for her.  She was reasonably healthy for an 84 year old. Of course, most people at that age have some health issues, but she had nothing serious enough to be terminal.

Our family, well, we knew Mom wasn’t one for finishing projects she started, and she didn’t like to throw anything out. So, we didn’t count on her clearing out the house. What we did know, was that she would have a difficult time being without Dad. I wonder if we all thought the same thing … it won’t be long before Dad throws down that rope.

Here we are, ten months later, and the rope came down. Mom left this earth to be with her beloved husband over the weekend.  Because she was not terminally ill, this was unexpected. But, when she fell in her home, the rope began its descent.

I’m including photos, because Mom was all about family.

This is where it gets emotionally difficult to write. You see, Mom and I had a complicated yet loving relationship. She read this blog. She enjoyed it. I hope she can see it again, somehow.

We had some tough times, her and I. But, she loved me anyway, and always considered me her daughter. I loved her and always considered her my other mom. I don’t think she always knew that, because she had a difficult time understanding where I was coming from. For example, even admitting (out loud) this struggle part of our relationship would be baffling to her. She’d say everything was perfectly fine at all times throughout our years together. She didn’t always see things as they were, but as she wanted them to be. My husband and I had a saying that went, “It never rains at Mom’s house.”

Having her in my life was a great teaching aide. We made it through struggles and came out the other side with a stronger, deeper relationship. I will miss our heart-to-heart talks.

Rwthwives (800x598)Mom and Dad with sons and their wives (7 years ago).

I have mentioned before that she and I loved the TV show, Everybody Loves Raymond. Mom didn’t mind that I called her, Marie (from the show). She laughed. She even signed her cards “Marie.” She had a great sense of humor, and she passed it down to her sons. I could never have married someone who didn’t laugh with me. I thank her for giving me such a wonderful man.

And, believe me, she called me Debra (from Everybody Loves Raymond) too. She saw Debra as the antagonist of the story. Which I find interesting and deep, because I think most people see themselves as the protagonist of their own stories. To Mom, Marie was the protagonist.

Mom was an only child, and she lost her parents before the age of twenty-five. This is why family was so important to her. She was definitely the matriarch in charge. She will leave a gaping hole.

Rfamily (800x608)Mom and Dad with their 4 sons, wives and grandkids about 7 years ago before 8 great-grandchildren were born. She’d would’ve asked me to put up a photo with everyone in the family, but I couldn’t find one in the midst of our packing and moving into a new home. She was lovingly inclusive of everyone. Even made family members of friends.

On my post about Dad, or as I called him, Chief, I put a video up of a song that suited them well. I’m putting it below again, because they are together now.

We’re taking our vitamins, Mom, and we’ll always remember to Live well, Love much and Laugh often.

 

 

 

42 thoughts on “Send Down the Rope”

  1. Lori, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get here, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure you’re all still in mourning for your father-in-law, and this is a lot to take so soon afterwards. I hope it gives you peace to know this loving couple is together again and watching over all of you.

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    1. Thank you, Tee. We’ve been remodeling and moving into our house while this happened. Stressful to say the least. Hope you are doing well.

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  2. You needn’t have worried, Lori. This was a most kind, loving, beautiful tribute to your mom. Yes, every relationship of any consequence is complicated and multifaceted. You shared the facets. You shared your heart.

    Phil’s father died of Alzheimer’s Disease. His mother was devoted to him. She had some health problems, but she, too, died less than a year (actually less than 6 months) after he died. Broken heart syndrome. It’s a thing…maybe not a clinical thing, but a thing nonetheless.

    At least your mom and dad are together and so are Phil’s parents. Sending you love, Sweetie…

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment about my tribute to my mother-in-law. That’s so true, that any relationship of consequence is multifaceted. It’s what gives me a lot of my writing material. Thank you for reminding me of this, and sharing your story. Hugs.

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      1. Yes, your mother-in-law. Because you kept calling her “mom,” I got caught up in thinking about mom as mom. I never could call my (now “ex”) mother-in-law “mom” or my father-in-law “dad.” Labels, right? But, to me, my mom is so special (my only parent because my dad died when I was 4) that no one but her will ever be my mom. Silly, but real for me. And, since I never had a man I knew as “dad,” I never felt comfortable calling anyone “dad.” 😐

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        1. That’s interesting to learn about you, Lorna. It did feel awkward calling my MIL “Mom” some 30 plus years ago, but it grew on me. She became more and more a mom to me over the years, and it became more natural. Plus, my parents called each other’s parents “mom and dad,” and I was raised to belief that’s the way it was supposed to be. However, my husband and his brothers sometimes affectionately called their dad, Chief. I thought it was endearing, so I picked it up and never called him anything but, Chief. My MIL told me he loved that I called him that.

          Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  3. I am so sorry, that you both lost your mom, especially so unexpectedly. This really was beautiful, in its realness. I love the story of how you both loved “Everybody Loves Raymond”, and that she’d sign her cards “Marie” sometimes. I’m praying that God help you and your husband rides the waves of grief. Love to you, paisano.

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    1. Hi Kristina. Thank you for coming over and reading about her. I was a little concerned about the “realness,” because I still wanted to portray my love for her. I sure hope I did, because our relationship was/is special to me. The thing is, I don’t know how to be anything but real, and that was the complicated part. She didn’t always know how to deal with real. 😀 And, that’s okay. I think we both respected and loved each other for that very difference in us.

      Thank you for your kind support.

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      1. I’ll take realness over a hallmark tribute anyday, personally. I don’t know, with something like tributes, when people have only positive things to say, it makes me feel uncomfortable. That’s just not who people are. So, your realness is refreshing. And I love how you were truly real, about how much you loved her, how complicated it was, and how funny it was. Sounds like life to me, ya know?

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  4. That was a beautiful, honest and loving tribute to your mother in law. It was an honor to read it. Our thoughts are with you and Gary.

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    1. Kathleen, thank you so much for coming over and reading about her. I appreciate your thoughts and kind words. Because it was honest, I hoped that my love for her still showed, because I truly loved her deeply and always will. Hugs.

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  5. I’m so sorry for your and Gary’s loss, Lori. Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos and memories. While the body is no longer here, the Love is Eternal. xoxoM

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  6. Lori, it is so rough to lose our loved ones, those with whom we’ve shared so much. So many relationships are complicated but loving… Wishing you and your husband sympathy during this difficult time…

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    1. Thanks, pd. Gary is immersing himself in the house remodel and move. He’s not really showing any emotion, at least not yet. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you, Marsha. You know what we went through and how we came out the other side much stronger. I’m grateful for your words of support.

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  7. What a life she lived, to inspire such a tribute. My heart goes out to you with this loss. Yet all I can think about is that she’s reunited with her true love, and that inspires me with joy. What a comfort that you’ll one day see her again and continue your talks. Gentle hugs for now to ease the pain.

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