The Complementary Spouse and I had plans to attend the SHOT Show and the Media Day at the Range. We had our plane tickets and our hotel reservation. We had received our badges that would allow us into the SHOT Show and to Media Day. We have been getting dozens of press releases by email daily. I was excited to get my hands on the Colt Cobra and see how it differed from the older Colt revolvers. We had started to map out who we planned to visit and on what day.
Then real life interrupted.
Sunday a week ago the nursing home where my mother-in-law Grace resided called to let us know she had what they suspected was a stroke of some sort. She wasn’t able to hold her head up and had some weakness on one side. From there, her health started to rapidly decline. After a consultation with her care team, it was decided that she should be transferred into hospice care. Hospice care doesn’t mean that death is imminent but rather that the person’s life expectancy is six months or less. That said, there are many elderly in hospice care who live over a year. This was not to be our case.
On Wednesday we were told that she was declining even more rapidly than we expected. My sister-in-law Cindy who was with her said we needed to get there sooner than later. We used Thursday to make work arrangements for being gone and left for St. Louis on Friday. Though we tried to get ahead of the snow storm that swept across the Southeast, we still had to slog our way through slick roads and snowy conditions a good part of the way there. Fortunately, we missed some of the big wrecks that virtually closed down Interstate 40 in places.
We arrived in the late afternoon. It was obvious to all that Grace was in the end stage of her life and that it was good that we arrived when we did. Soon after we arrived, we were joined by some of Grace’s grandkids who had driven over from Kentucky to say their goodbyes. We spent the evening in the room reminiscing about Grace’s life and how she enjoyed her children and grandchildren. Eventually, all of us except Cindy and the Complementary Spouse went to where we were staying. The two daughters had decided that they would keep watch over Grace throughout the night.
Grace died on Saturday just after noon. She was surrounded by many of her family as she took her last breath. It was a quiet, peaceful, and dignified passing.
I am one of those lucky people in that I got as good a mother-in-law as one could ever hope to have. Grace treated me as much like a son as a son-in-law. I remember her saying to the Complementary Spouse that if we didn’t hurry up and get married, she would just have to adopt me. She loved me and I loved her.
As to the SHOT Show, it will be there next year. Family will always come first.
The obituary for Grace is here. She was a wonderful and kind woman and I will miss her terribly.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.