Our Christmas was a little different, as the MIL had been pretty poorly and had to cancel at the last minute so we had my family over on Christmas day and just the BIL and partner on Boxing Day. It was nice and I have a great photo of the BIL peering inside an Addict-A puzzle ball and using a torch to see what to do next. It was one of those quiet, but Nice (with a capital N) Christmases.
I think at that stage none of us realised what was to come so soon after, although I guess some of the signs were there...
My MIL was diagnosed with breast cancer early last year - they treated it with tablets and TBH, it didn't change physically too much from first diagnosis. I think my MIL always saw it a little like a time bomb and feared that her days were numbered, but she carried on with life in much the way she always had. Later in the year, she had some (unrelated) problems with breathing and that affected her dramatically - even talking on the phone was a struggle and it was the reason that she hadn't been able to come Boxing Day. The doctors were looking into it, she had hospital appointments to go to and they were trying different medication. Through it all, she quietly struggled and my FIL and BIL did everything they could to make life easier for her. She carried on, being there for us all, a central point who everyone moved around - albeit at varying distances.
I guess my news for not writing, is that my MIL, the quiet lady in the corner, died last week. It was all very sudden - taken in to hospital with a chest infection one day and expected to be out in a few days, to dying of pneumonia the following day. We were there with her and just before the end, she opened her eyes and saw hubby (her eldest son) and looked so surprised to see him. She closed her eyes again and passed in just a few minutes. In common with so many other people, it seems that my MIL was just waiting until she had her family with her.
I know that I will miss her. Its not that we spent lots of time together, or talked for hours on the phone; we didn't even really have that much in common apart from hubby, but she was lovely. She was kind and nice and generous and lovely and kind and nice. Yes, I know I am repeating myself, but these were her qualities and I don't know if anyone could ever say anything bad about her - I just don't think she had a bad fibre in her body - she was NICE in the real, old-fashioned sense on the word and I think she deserves to have all capital letters!
Will be greatly missed by all her family and friends.