Easter was definitely different this year – partly by choice and partly because we had no choice – but, as usual, the family song remains the same.
We were happy to have my son-in-law’s mother and sister (and Natali’s boyfriend) with us. They and precious little Luke helped fill the gaping hole left by Bill’s absence. We had lots of little ones to bring joy, noise and energy, and we’re so lucky for that. Mother was thrilled to have them all there, even though she’s weak and fragile.
But Mother had a hard time emotionally. And we had a hard time watching her have a hard time.
We’ve been down this road before – when Daddy died, Mother grieved herself down to tiny proportions, my sister developed full-blown anorexia, and, from what I can see in photos, I got pretty darned thin myself. But we were all much younger then and Mother was basically healthy. We all recovered over time and, though scarred, survived.
But now Mother’s health is scary (she has myelodysplastic syndrome) and we don’t know what the future holds. She lives by herself a good 20 minutes from me and farther from Cathy. We don’t like at all. I put life on hold for a while, but it’s calling me back to other duties, and that’s hard, too – I still feel like I should be driving out to Mother’s every day, though she says I don’t need to.
Mother never really spent an Easter as a widow, as Daddy died right after Easter in 1982, and by the next year, Mother was a few weeks away from marrying Bill. At her age, she doesn’t see that happening again, though she’s cute enough (and normally outgoing enough) that if her health levels off again, nothing would surprise me.
But that’s a big if.
The kids give her a reason to keep on keeping on, though. And a new one arrives this week.
So we’re sad, but very happy – and also worried. What will be will be. And the song will keep on playing.