Things I wish I could tell my Mother-In-Law right now

“Hellllurrr! Howzit?”

This is the part where you’re supposed to say “Dit gaan goed dankie my kind” (I’m well thank you my child) right before you ask me about your kids. You know, the ones I gave birth to… And then we’d proceed to you telling me about some person or the other that either passed away or who is ill. Then I’d pretend to know exactly who you’re talking about because I’ve learnt that it’s better than you trying to force me to remember someone I’ve never met or seen in my life.

I’ll say shame. You’ll tell me about their relatives and the funeral and and and… I’ll crack a silly joke about how the people in your hood are becoming an extinct species and you’ll chide me for it and we’ll laugh because you think it’s true somewhat. Remember how I told you that there’d be no one left to attend your funeral? Well, there’d better not be, because I’m not ready to let you go.

We came to visit you the other day. I kissed your forehead and rubbed your arm before I fled. It was difficult to see you just lying there. I couldn’t bring myself to come back again. But I was right outside the door. Filing my nails. You know I don’t bother filing it much, but hey, anything to keep busy. And then buffing it for good measure coz I was right outside with the Judgy McJudgersons of this world. You should see my nails shine. I was that disinterested in having meaningless conversation with the nay sayers and do well’rs. I’m sure you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about.

I miss our chats. The ones where you talk about days gone by. When you embarrass the heck out of me with some topics. Daughters are not supposed to be privvy to some of the information you give me, but hey your secrets are safe with me.

We don’t know what to tell the kids anymore. Little K is still mad at you for being in hospital this long. We can’t bring Middle K for visits because, like me, she can’t handle seeing you looking all frail. I can tell you that we’re not fooling 1st K one bit. And Miss Z is feeling it so much more because you’re not home with her. The kids miss you and are really worried.

People have probably wondered why I don’t visit you that often. You know how people talk… It makes me feel better knowing that you don’t wonder. I never quite understood when your sister would say “Gee vir my blomme terwyl ek nog lewe” (Bring me flowers while I’m living). Now I know the true meaning of it. I hope I’ve done enough for you in your healthier days. I guess I did because I feel that peace and calm you told me about once when you spoke of the time your mom was ill.

There are so many things I want to tell you and I pray that we’ll have an opportunity to have those conversations. Like:

You missed out on something very important in Middle K’s little life and I can’t wait to tell you. Happened the day before you went to hospital.

High schools for Middle K and Miss Z. The application process doesn’t seem too nightmarish anymore. But it’s still that time. My shattered nerves.

Little K is enjoying being a 1st grader. All I’m hearing these days is my teacher this and my teacher that and the year has barely started!

About your hair… It actually looks quite fine for someone who’s been in bed for as long as you have. We’ll bring some Argan oil when we come again. To touch it up a bit. Just remember I want my comb back. This joint custody is not working. *laughing* I’ve been looking for one similar to mine for a while now but haven’t found one yet. I guess I’ll have to find one soon before you decide to keep mine for good.

I didn’t find any of those shorts either but it doesn’t mean you can have mine. I know that was the deal, but please can we look for another one?

“My kids, you’re all I’ve got. You, Keith and R. If I’m not around anymore, I want to know that you guys will all get along and always remember that you are family. We are family.” I can hear you utter those words to me in the silence of the night. It won’t be easy, you know your kids, but we’ll try. Families need to stick together. We’ll argue, fuss and fight but we’ll pull through. We always do. You don’t have to worry about us.

I want you to know that I’ll take good care of Keith and K3. They are my life and no one loves them more than I do. Let’s not even have that debate because I’ll win. Only because you can’t exactly talk now. Oh, how I miss hearing your voice. FYI when we get to have that debate again I suppose I’ll let you win. If only by default. Your heart and all.

More than anything, I miss you. If I promise to sneak you an oily chop or other unhealthy food to hospital will you get better sooner?

This is not goodbye…


16 thoughts on “Things I wish I could tell my Mother-In-Law right now

  1. Celeste, this post touch me deeply and I relate to what you are going through . . . I remeber visiting my gran, cutting her nails, brushing hair and washing her face, the small things that gave us both comfort.

    I hope you have an opportunity to have this conversation with your mother-in-law. Thinking of you all xoxo


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