We received some very sad news last night. Our sister-in-law passed away yesterday evening. Her son called us all the way from North Carolina to give us the news. We knew that she had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier this year, and that she had been home and not well, but it was still pretty unexpected. Hubby's brother had come home for lunch mid-day to find her sleeping. He went back to work for the afternoon/evening, and when he came home this time, she was gone. She was only 55!
They live about 20 minutes from my parents up in Northern California, which is about 3 1/2 hours away from us, so we weren't able to go up and be with him last night. Today we'll figure out just what is going on and when Hubby should head up there. Of course it's an awkward time for us since I'm flying to Vegas tomorrow night, Hubby has a fishing tournament this weekend, and school starts on Monday. I have no doubt we'll figure everything out, but it will be interesting, to say the least. Naturally, family comes first.
What's somewhat awkward about all of this is that SIL and I didn't always get along wonderfully. I've been a part of Hubby's family for 13 years, and at first I thought she was a hoot. She welcomed me into the fold with a lot of hugs and enthusiasm, and I appreciated that. As time passed, though, it changed. She seemed to forever be attempting to make me feel uncomfortable, and would push buttons until I reacted -- then it was all smiles and wonderment at my being upset. All the while, I've loved Hubby's brother from the day I met him, so every visit with them was a trial of emotions. It got to the point where I didn't want to go to their house, and eventually I just started refusing. This does NOT lead to happy times in my own marriage, and has been a real problem for Hubby and I. He's always been one to let things go, and accept people for who they are, but he's also not the one that had to take a lot of bull s., either. There's no easy answer for this one, and unfortunately, I'll never have an opportunity to make it better.
Some nice memories to share, because that feels like a good thing to do...
* Like I said, she welcomed me to the family, and made my first experiences with Hubby's family nice ones. I appreciate those memories.
* She was ALWAYS up for a good time, and was never one to suggest not going out or having an adventure. If not for her, my BIL would have sat around a lot more than he did, but thanks to her he traveled and even got on an airplane! (He's not crazy about them!)
* She did the flowers for my wedding, and the one piece that I loved the most was my bouquet. Because she used fake flowers, I still have it, and always will.
* Regardless of how a get together would end, it never failed to start with her having something nice to say to me. Usually, "You look beautiful, honey." I don't know that I ever said enough nice things to her, but I always told her when I liked her hair. She colored it some great colors, and it was always thick and beautiful.
* Her mother and sister, who are both gone now too, were lovely people who also made me feel loved. I'm glad I had the opportunity to know them both.
* My favorite funny moment: two summers ago we lost my father-in-law, and I had recently lost about 30 pounds. The in-laws hadn't seen me in a while, so it was surprise to them. My SIL hugged me at the funeral and said, "You look great, honey! You've lost weight!" And then she whispered in my ear, "Are you sick?" I laughed and said no, that I just needed to get in shape, and she whispered, "Are you sure?"
Laughing and crying,