The other day I had the honor of taking pictures of my mother-in-law. Mother-in-law has never felt like the right term for her. That seems too ominous a title for someone that I love so dearly. So I have always called her Freida-mom because she is my second mother. She is one of the sweetest, kindest, strongest, and most beautiful women I have ever known and I hope to one day be at least a little like her. I write this post, honestly, filled with both regret and admiration. Admiration because my Freida-mom is an amazing woman. Regret because these were supposed to be pictures of her AND my father-in-law, Gene.
This past September my father-in-law, my husband’s father, my childrens’ grandfather passed away. It was totally unexpected and our hearts are broken. I can’t speak for everyone in the family but I will speak for myself.
Gene, annoyed me to no end. Sometimes I think he did things just TO annoy me. He fed my kids frosting straight from the can and laughed at me when I was angry. He also helped raise the love of my life, gave great hugs, and loved my kids with all his heart. Sometimes I fussed at him for silly little things, like feeding the baby candy, but I really did love him. I think I loved him more than I realized. I know I did because now I am sitting here bawling my eyes out wishing I could hear him laugh at my temper or see how his face would light up when he saw my children. I wish I could hug him and tell him sorry for fussing about the frosting, and the lollipops, and the flowers, and his crazy driving and thank him for loving me anyway. I am going to miss him so much.
As if she didn’t have enough weighing on her heart, very shortly after the funeral my dear sweet Freida-mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately we caught it early and, though she will have to have surgery and radiation treatment, it looks like she has an extremely good chance of pulling through. We are all grateful for that but it doesn’t make it much less scary. Nevertheless, my Freida-mom, ever the optimist, is still smiling and even laughing. She is so beautiful inside and out. I can’t even imagine the emotional roller coaster she is on right now. I love her so much. I know that the entire family loves her and she has MANY friends that love her. This isn’t mere chance. She didn’t just get lucky to have all these people who love her. All these people love her because she is an AMAZING woman. She has loved me as if I was her own child from the moment she met me. I can, at times, be difficult to love. She has seen me at my best and at my worst and she still loves me. That love alone proves to me that she truly has a heart of gold.