Mother in Law

I’ve been working from the cardiology unit at the Auckland hospital today.

Mother in Law had a heart attack yesterday.  Not a little one, a big one.  She said it didn’t hurt.  That is exactly the kind of downplaying she does all the time.  She’s the toughest person I know.  Seriously, she’d outsmart, outlast and outplay that Bear guy who trundles off in the wilderness with his cameraman no fucking worries.

She’s resting and while she rests I work and when she wakes up I fuss about and annoy her.  Pretty much the same drill as most of our life.  We’re arguing a bit less than usual, because she hasn’t got much fight in her right now.  She is getting more forehead kisses than she’d ever let me bestow under normal circumstances as she’s weak as a kitten.

I Love my mother in law.  She calls a spade a spade, doesn’t bat an eyelid when I say fuck, and she’s the first to call bullshit on me or anyone else if she gets a whiff of it.

She’s very private, and wouldn’t be happy with me writing about her plight as it is, so I won’t give you any details.  Suffice to say, she’s unwell.  I believe that they will get to the bottom of everything and she’ll be fighting fit soon.

I actually can’t comprehend a world without her, as she’s been such a pillar of strength and a source of comfort and support for most of my adult life now.  We’ve travelled the world together and talked about her childhood on trains through Europe.  She’s complained and rolled her eyes at me through the organising of not one but two weddings (both to the same man, her younger son).  And goodness gracious we have played some cribbage.  I’d guess hundreds, if not thousands of hands of crib have passed between mother in law and me over the years.

So while I am sat here on blue plastic hospital chairs, not bothering to fight the tears that are rolling down my fat little face, I am aware that life carries on for absolutely everyone.

Jan, the spunky elderly lady from room one will be going home soon.  She misses her cat and her daughters.  She’s a good solid bogan chick and we’ve had a few great laughs.

Being in the hospital, I have glimpsed the devastation of life coming to an end, just through the corner of my eye in the tears of strangers in waiting rooms and in the corridors.

Every phone call since the event has carried genuine concern for me, mum, Grumpy and our family.  We can carry on and get down to business after stories of how awesome mum is get swapped, and comforting and encouraging words are dropped.

This is another reminder of how fucking ridiculously blessed I feel.  Blessed to be a part of a quirky family who rallied around and shared the news of mum’s illness across the globe in minutes flat.  Blessed to have a husband who knows what it is to Love a strong and independent woman, and also knows how to weather some fairly mind blowing life storms.  Blessed to be a part of a wonderful community of kind hearted and intelligent people.  Blessed to be working alongside doers.  Blessed to have scaffolding of friends, family, and even employees that will make sure the kids are cared for and kept up to date on their Nana.  Blessed to be sitting next to a woman who I Love and respect, and still able to continue working (albeit at a slower pace) on projects I Love.

So, if you’ve heard the news about Mum, she’s stable and hates being in the hospital.  If you’ve taken the time to read this, thank you very much, and if your mother in law is around, it might be nice to tell her you Love her.  I tell mine all the time.  Am confident I will have the chance to do so many, many, many more times yet.





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