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Saturday, December 7, 2019

I Will Miss Her

Peacekeeper, Margaret Jean Maville Derwitsch, my mother-in-law and friend, passed into the Big Mystery a week ago, on the cusp of midnight between November and December. I will miss her.

So many years ago she welcomed me into her family with an open, yet reluctant heart. A reluctance that I judge not one whit. A heart that warmed and never stopped opening to me as the years progressed. We became friends. Good friends. We shared confidences. I will miss her.

In the early days of our relationship she shared her garden with me, giving me a small patch. A patch that grew each year. Some things never change. My mulching methods befuddled her, I'm sure. She never directly said so, but I got that sense. She inspired me to preserve my harvests, and later she taught me to make a proper jelly after years of hit-or-miss. She taught me not to fear that hard boil. And not just for jelly. ::nods:: For a time we lived downstairs from her and her spouse, my beloved fishing buddy, Franz, where we shared the washing machine in the basement. I'd hang out her laundry, and she'd hang out mine. We went grocery shopping together. I will miss her.

We shared many an apricot brandy cocktail back in the day. Most every Friday evening (and then some) Franz would set 'em up and we'd knock 'em back. And Sunday dinners were a thing we shared, with other family members, sharing cooking, clean-up, and conversation. My mom would remark for years about Jean's giant Thanksgiving leftover pot pie. And I'll always recall - with humble pride - when she said of a wild blueberry pie I made for her, "that's what pie is supposed to taste like." I will miss her.

In later years she'd join Rick 'n' me with her youngest, Frankie, for Christmas dinner. And when my mom passed, we added Thanksgiving to the mix. She enjoyed these "civilized" holiday meals together. I laughed the first time she used that phrasing, and continue to chuckle at its recall. I will miss her.

She was rather serious, yet she inspired laughter in me, not always on purpose. Serious 'n' not, we shared a good bit of laughter between us. There's a number of Jeanisms, as I call them, that I've collected and assimilated for my own expressive use. A favored, and often used Jeanism is, "he thinks everything's funny," which at the time originally spoken, was expressed with a rather sharp annoyance... directed at her son... my spouse, Rick. It cracked me up then, and it cracks me up still. I will miss her.

Near the end, we spoke of death and dying. She said that if she saw the light she would go to it. I told that that is as it should be. We agreed that no one - no one - should have to suffer. In life. Or in death. I will miss her.

For me, from a personal perspective, her passing marks a major life change. All my parental relationships have moved on, leaving me to become the elder I'm meant to be. This feels like a mighty shift, a mighty responsibility, a mighty loss. And, indeed, it is. I will hold her memory deep in my heart like the precious gem that it is. And I will miss her.

Indeed, I miss her now.

Peace. 🕊


Corey said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful relation to your mother-in-law, your friend. I feel her loss in your words. The lessons, the memories, the joy and all of it. I am happy you had each other to share this life together with. May she be at peace, may she be free from pain and go towards that light. All my love Rose.

Laury Collins said...

As you are Rose, beautiful. Tip a glass to the next life when memories become real again. Love to you and yours.

Phillip Allen said...

Among that which lives in remembrance is love and respect. Hail, Jean! Honor to her name.

Tammie Lee said...

lovely tribute to your relationship with her.
Sending you all light at this time of passing.

Crystal said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your mother in law and friend. Thank you for sharing a bit of her with us.

Rick said...

Nicely said, I miss her to.

Sharon said...

Lovely post. Sorry for your loss.

Carol said...


Nancy said...

Beautiful May you and Rick have peace that she is looking over you both