We attended the military ceremony at the DFW National Cemetery as the final goodbye for my father-in-law yesterday.
I got online last night just to spill some of my thoughts, but that first line made me unsure which image I will put up in a bit. Because he was so much more than just his service in the Marines and the Dallas Fire Department. I loved this man, and he was so very kind to me, always. And, yet, as I re-read my words, I am still not sure of the best image for this post. OK, tonight’s decision is that I will wait and post an image later… not that you all are waiting… 🙂
What I wanted to selfishly write about is MY experience over the last months. It has been so hard for my husband, and so hard for me to know how to be of best help. I think I have it correct this evening: he went to take a shower and get in bed (after I tell you about our very long day today this is correct) while listening to Rick Braun’s greatest hits, streamed from my tablet as I lowered the volume bit by bit so he could sleep.
Suddenly he pops out and says “I have to tell the trainers that I cannot blow into the mannequin to certify for my annual CPR certification tomorrow morning, as I am not still 10 days off of covid.”
Yes, we both got Covid just before we had to say goodbye to his dad.
Back to my complaining.
My husband’s family is A LOT. I suppose all of ours are. Mine has taxed Hubby with my mom’s dementia and the navigational struggles I have delt with about that with my sister since 2014. All is well in that department by now. Mom is stable and happy; Sis and I agree on care.
But my husband’s family always came with conflict. Always. I even asked him, on a couch in a public space in a college dormitory, about his feelings on divorce in general and his parents in particular. He surprised me with his answer (and by the way we were both age 19 at this time) that he personally did not agree with divorce, but when his dad left his household when Hubby was five, Hubby felt the relief of tension immediately. He told me more, but let that be enough.
Back to my complaining.
My mother-in-law was always nothing but mean to me, but loving and kind to my husband and children and their children. So weird. I can give you so many examples, but not important. But when she passed last year, I thought I caught some shade from a look from my oldest daughter a couple of times while I spoke, because daughter correctly saw that I did not see her favorably. (My daughters are so so smart.) Family! Hard!
Here is what I really wanted to whine about. Or warn you. Or apologize.
Over the past 3 weeks, we have watched my father-in-law decide to die. My hubby and I do not disagree with Dad’s decision to stop going in-and-out-of-the-hospital just to re-adjust levels for his kidney and heart. He was not living the life he wanted. We all knew it. He had shown in so many ways that he wanted to just go. My gym trainer said to me that he “gave up” and I said no, he “decided”. He did. I am sure of it.
The memorial service on Saturday and the military ceremony Tuesday both caught my husband and I in the throes of Covid infection. We did attend both events, of course fully masked (and vaccinated and boosted, etc), but with extreme sadness and fatigue (since we drove in and out for both ceremonies from north Houston to Dallas and back each time -4-hours each way, in order to not stay in a house or eat at a restaurant with loved ones).
We both felt sick in body and in heart. We were both trying not to be cranky and step on each other’s feelings, but we both still did. The grief literally interfered with our personalities to the point where I saw him at times pull away from me and me from him. We both just were not sure how to behave.
I finally slept well last night. I hope he did. Neither of us has been sleeping well for a while, and especially over the past week, for all of these reasons. Today is a fresh start.
We will really miss him, though.