Today I am writing to you about my beautiful Mother-in-law, who sadly lost her life just over 2 weeks ago. She was an inspiration in so many ways but especially through the love she gave and her ability to cope with change.
Sixty years ago her and my father-in-law sailed from the familiar shores of England to a far off land, they knew very little about. They traveled to Australia with three young children with the determination to make the most of the opportunities promised in this country that would enable their children to have a plentiful life. I cannot imagine how frightening it must have been to sail away, knowing you were leaving, not only a familiar place but family and friends, that you were starting a new life in a young country with a climate dramatically different to what you were used to and no extended family to lean on. But she did. They all did and they not only coped, they thrived.
My mother-in-law has had to cope with the change that losing loved ones brings. Tragically her only daughter was taken away in a fatal car accident when she had just reached adult hood. The lose was great, the pain of her broken heart and grief with her always but she did cope. She thrived on the memories of a wonderful daughter, a happy girl/lady who was popular, hard working and beautiful. She missed her for the rest of her living days but learnt in time that life must go on.
When she lost her husband just a few months before their 70th wedding anniversary, we did not know how she would cope. Theirs was a solid love, a beautiful love of admiration and respect, their marriage one of the traditional roles of wife cooks and cleans, the husband works hard and keeps the garden neat. Of course her grief was heavy. There were nights when she cried herself to sleep but she did cope with this change, living in the family home right up until just 5 months before her own departure from this world.
My mother-in-law had health issues but rarely complained. She had aches and pains that occasionally warranted a moan but she shrugged and said “What can you do, it’s age I suppose.” She smiled whenever she saw us arrive in the driveway. Greeted us with the biggest hug and a cup of tea.
An inspiration to the end and continues to be each time I think of her and all the love and kindness she gave and the determination to make it through life’s changes. R.I.P.