As my visit with my Aunt and cousins came to an end Chris got a phone call from his mom, a call that we had been dreading. My mother in law had been battling breast cancer for nearly three years. She was diagnosed shortly after Chris and I were married.
The phone call was to let us know that it was time to come and say, “we love you and we’ll see you soon.” We left on Saturday afternoon and got to Chris’ family’s house on Saturday evening. His mom wasn’t able to talk to us by the time we got there but she could hear us. I know she knew we were there. The baby started kicking like crazy when we were talking with his mom. I think she was excited to be with her Grandma.
^^Chris sitting with his mom shortly before she passed
In the wee hours on Sunday morning, she passed away. It was a sad day, but we were grateful that she wasn’t suffering anymore. We left to head back home on Monday afternoon. Chris spent the morning building lego castles with his little sisters.
Chris headed back to his family’s house on Friday and I followed with my mom and little sister on Saturday morning.
^^A rainbow we passed on the way to Colorado
^^We stopped by the Monticello Temple on our way there.
The funeral was on Saturday evening. It was a beautiful service. It was sad because we will all miss her so much, but it was such a wonderful way to celebrate her life. Her sisters and daughters sang so beautifully. She always loved to sing with her sisters and many were in agreement that her voice joined theirs on Saturday.
^^Charlotte’s 11 beautiful children
I loved hearing stories about her life, things I had never known about her. You can read more about her life here and here. My favorite thing is what Chris said when he spoke, “Everyone was my mother’s friend. If you weren’t her friend, it’s because she hadn’t met you yet.” It’s so true. From the moment I met her she welcomed me with open arms into her family.
Chris’ dad made the casket out of light wood and all the family as well as any friends who wanted to were able to leave a message to her with colorful sharpie markers. Her adorable daughters drew her pictures. It was such a sweet notion and a great way for everyone to show their love. When everyone had a chance to leave their message, there wasn’t an empty spot left. She is so loved.
My mother in law was truly a saint. She raised 11 children and served everyone she met in one way or another. I feel so blessed to have known her. She taught me so much about what it means to be a good wife and mother. She always told me how glad she was that I was her daughter in law. I wish I had told her more often how glad I was to have her as a mother in law. She was so soft spoken, I never heard her raise her voice once. She reared her children with love and kindness.
I’m so grateful for the way she raised my husband to be such a perfect gentleman, a hard worker, and a kind, caring man. Her relationship with her husband taught Chris and through extension, me how to create a happy marriage. We continue to look at them as an example of how to keep our marriage thriving and to serve each other and put each other before anything else.
I’m grateful for my knowledge of the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because through it I know that my mother in law is in heaven and she is still raising her children. I know that in terms of eternity it won’t be long before we all get to see her again and I know that we will. It was never Goodbye, it was always Until we meet again. From the way the baby was moving when we were there, I am certain that she met her Grandma. It’s sad that they weren’t able to meet in this life, but I know they are spending time together now before she is born.
I love you Mom! Thank you for being so warm and kind to me. I will see you soon.