I’m on lockdown in my house with a pandemic out there and my mother-in-law in here.
A few weeks ago, my father-in-law, who has been my only dad since I was 15, took a fall and ended up in a rehab facility. The day he was put into that facility, it went on lockdown with no visitors allowed. No one. For the sake of brevity, I will skip to the part where he went sharply downhill, was readmitted to the hospital, and died a few days later. His graveside service was limited to family only, and the following day our county enacted an official stay-at-home order.
We asked my mother-in-law to stay here with us because we wanted to make sure she was safe, comforted, and among family instead of alone for the duration of the lockdown. She’s been with us now for two weeks, and when I think of being cooped up with my mother-in-law for weeks, the thought strikes my funny bone because I don’t imagine most people would think that sounded like a whole heap of fun. But she is, after all, a sweet little old Italian lady and she makes a great red sauce. She also made a really good guy who has been my husband for nearing 40 years, and she’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. We’re missing Papa, but we’re missing him together.
I don’t know how long this shelter-in-place will last. I don’t know how long we’ll have Mom in our lives. Hopefully soon, things will go back to some kind of normal. But I hope normal never looks quite like it did before because I hope we’ve learned a lot in the lockdown. I know I have. For now, I will be thankful for these days spent with a woman I am honored to call Mom. For now, I will be grateful for family and home and life. I’m glad she’s here.