My mother-in-law, Ellie, passed away peacefully at 2:30 AM this morning. She was 76. My husband and one of his brothers were by her side at the time. For the past several days, she had been surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
I will always remember her as a fiery red head who accepted me as I was. She was never the stereotypical, critical mother-in-law, but she did have a lovable, sarcastic streak. She was devoted to her seven children and their families. She loved cooking big holiday meals, and she always made a special lemon meringue pie just for my husband. She enjoyed many crafts, but she was particularly fond of embroidery. Even as arthritis overtook her hands, she struggled to hold a needle so she could continue embroidering. Towards the end, she spent all her time in her recliner watching TV. NCIS was one of her favorites.
Ellie was always frail, even when I first met her 34 years ago. The last several years she had been in poor health and in continual pain. In all the years I knew her, I don’t think she was ever more than 100 pounds, but this past month her weight dipped to only 56 pounds. Still, she was adamant that she wanted to die at home without doctors, hospice, or convalescent homes. We will miss Ellie tremendously, but we are very thankful that she is no longer suffering.