Tuesday, February 22, 2011

About Last Week.....

First off I'd like to thank everyone who sent condolences for my Mother-in-Law's passing.
This past week was difficult.  Between all the in-laws descending on us for the funeral, Hubs having to drive across the state to fetch #1 son so he could be with the family here during this period of mourning and Hubs having to handle the bulk of the business stuff that needed doing because face it, half of his family is totally worthless when it comes to stepping up to the plate, it has been mighty stressful for us personally.

While my Hubs adored his mother, I had a contentious relationship with her at best.  At first I think she felt that being involved with me, kept her 'baby' from achieving more in life.  Eventually she got use to the idea that I wasn't going away and we settled into a relationship that worked for us, mostly because she kept her distance and was very hands off. 

I think in a way we were very much alike in so many areas and that is why we butted heads. 
I appreciate her for raising her kids to be decent human beings.  She was the original Frugalista too, living through the Depression as one of a large family.  She was very smart and graduated with honors from high school.  She could have gone to college if they had had the money for it.  Instead she fell in love, went to secretary school and worked until WWII was over and then married her soldier and raised a family.  She passed on that thirst for knowledge to her kids.  Her and my FIL were very poor starting out and suffered many injustices at the hands of my FIL's bigoted Italian-American family.  They survived and flourished in spite of it.
She was always reading(and I'm not talking romance novels)and questioning authority and societal norms. She was not afraid to stand up to anyone, no matter their position in life. Quiet yet outspoken.
When her oldest son asked an African American woman to be his wife, she was the first person to welcome her with open arms into the family. 

MIL has really been 'gone' for about 6 years due to advanced Alzheimer's. With the quality of her intellect, I was very sad to see that happen.   I am sure that if she had been aware of what was actually happening to her, she would have been devastated.
My mother on the other hand went quickly from physical ailments.  Having gone through both of their final years, I sure hope my body gives out before my mind does. 8-(

The actual service was brief but then there was the 2 hour drive, EACH WAY, to the cemetery in NJ and back here.  And when going to or leaving metro NY area of NJ, you always have to consider rush hour traffic issues.  Luckily, things timed out rather well so we weren't on the road during either rush hour periods.
And I was able to provide some comic relief to all who gathered at the cemetery.  Last Thursday was exceptionally warm in our area, about 58 degrees in Jersey.  The cemetery was still blanketed in a foot or so of snow.  We had to walk about 500 yds. in about 6 inches of a melting, slushy, muddy mess of a half-assed shoveled pathway to get to the gravesite.  I hadn't even considered this possibility when picking out my footwear!
So I was in a pair of purple low cut low heeled flats, tromping through the snow/slush/mud.
My feet were soaked to the bone by the time I took my 4th step.....
So I sucked it up and just soldiered on.  On the way back to the road, I misstepped into a mud hole and turned my ankle.  I pitched forward and went down headfirst into a foot of snow/slush, using my right hand/arm to catch myself from splaying out face down in the snow.  Of course, everyone was already way ahead of me, including my Hubs, so when I yelled for him to help me, nobody came, let alone heard me.  Oldest BIL's wife was still graveside snapping photos on her cellphone and she eventually saw me in my graceful position and came over.  By then I had taken matters into my own hands and crawled a couple of feet to the left, like a half-human/half-crab and used a headstone to steady myself and get upright.  I will always be grateful to Archie and Lucille for being there for me.   Sorry but I didn't catch the last name or the dates. ;-)
Leave it to me to make a Grand Exit.......

Now that things have settled back into their usual chaotic routine, I hope to get back to blogging and visiting around the blogosphere to catch up with my bloggy friends in the coming days.



  1. I'm so sorry about everything that happened.
    And I really don't see why it was deemed necessary that you fell face first in the mud. But it does sound like something that would happen to me.

  2. Oh, the age-old pratfall at a cemetary -- it's a classic, Sluggy :) At least you weren't hurt (were you??) or didn't break anything, snow being a cushiony substance and all.

    I'm so sorry about your MIL's passing and her descent. I hope your hubs is holding up okay - sounds like it was especially hard on him, losing his mom and having to deal with less-than-helpful family that left him with all the work. She sounds like she was quite an amazing woman!

  3. Sluggy, you gave such a fair assessment of your mil troubles and a gracious tribute to her life and her efforts to do the best for others, even though she sort of tried to walk on you. At least it was not contentious all the time. Any woman who "questions authority and societal norms" is okay in my book.

    At least you fell in the mud. I have fallen and hit my forehead twice in 6 weeks, so the brain may go first. I am so sorry about your pain and humiliation, but your telling of your fall was hilarious. I can just see you dragging yourself to a tombstone, slogging through in muddy slow. Okay, got to quit laughing through my tears. You should be a standup comedian.

    Your talk about food cost just sort of comes in second to the rest of the funeral fun.

    My hope is for the body to go first!

  4. Sluggy, I am glad you made it through the week only a little worse for the wear.

  5. SonyaAnn--You and me both. We are sisters from a different mother. ;-)

    Pretty--Nah, nothing hurt long term but my dignity.lol Now everyone will have another funny story to tell at my expense. At least I am good for sumthin'.lol Hubs adored his mom so he is taking it hard, even tho he knew it was coming. It's never easy to lose a parent, no matter how old you are I guess. Thanks for your kindness.

    Practical--Thanks for your comments. MIL was not one of my fav people but she was a good woman in her way. I liked that she didn't meddle in my marriage(like alot of parents do with their kids it seems)but I wished she had wanted to be more engaged with her grandchildren. I think the kids missed out on something there with her standoffishness.

    Be careful with bumping your brain! I just saw about that ex NFL football star who committed suicide. He thought all those blows to the head while playing caused Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Watch that noggin of yours! ;-)

    Frances--Thanks Frances. I think we need to open the bar early tonight....lol


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