Meet Wilma. She was one classy lady…..even in her death. She was my mother-in-law, but more than that, she was my friend.
On Tuesday, March 13, my HubE and I picked up the Uhaul and began loading out the shop for Vintage Market Days of Asheville. Months of planning had gone into the event….an event that encompasses 100 vendors from all over the US. What a privilege to have been chosen as one of those vendors, now for their third show! Five hours into the loading process we were nearly finished when the call came from Hospice that “mom” was declining rapidly. We needed to make a decision to go ahead with VMD, or bale so someone else could quickly take my spot. We decided to be with mom, and I’m so very thankful for that choice we made. So we spent the next 3 hours unloading the truck back into the shop….in heaps of furniture and boxes spread between three rooms. Hindsight…what was I thinking???? Somehow I thought all that would fit into a 10 x 20 booth space! (I’m smiling….)
We arrived in Cary early Wednesday morning and spent the next 4 days with mom, leaving her side only for meals when her dear friends would come and sit with her. For the first 2 days, she could speak albeit garbled. But in those days, she gave her son a hug and told him she loved him. And that was well worth the trip all by itself.
I was able to tell mom the one thing I had always wanted her to know….that she had shown me Christ through her grace, love and forgiveness of me after the years that my HubE and I spent apart. She was an amazing and kind woman who raised three men to be gentle, kind men of integrity and faith. Her legacy lives on in her sons, one of whom I am blessed to call husband.
Spring came to the mountains while we sat with mom. Proof that life goes on. In the first day we were with mom, I asked her if she was afraid of dying. Her answer was quick, “Oh no! I can’t wait to meet Jesus!” She was sure of the fact that life indeed does go on….even after death. Her eternal life would be one of peace, and she was ready.
She passed from this life on Sunday morning, March 18. Just 12 hours prior to her passing, after days of not getting up or moving about at all, and certainly no more speaking, she sat bolt upright in her bed and began the motions of slipping her arms from her sleeves, though her gown had no sleeves at all. She ran her hand down one arm, then tried to do the other and said to me (eyes closed), “You finish”. So I ran my hand down her other arm as if helping to remove the garment she wanted off. Then she took her hand and slipped it over her watch, as if to remove it. She continued with her wedding rings and then cupped my hand and “placed” the items in my palm, closing my hand around the invisible valuables. She then said, “Done” and laid back down. That was her last word. She knew the time had come, and that was the last thing she needed to do. I wept.
She was one classy lady….even in death.
Easter is on its way, and though many celebrate bunnies and candy, I will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of His death and life, all those who believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Mom is living it up….literally! And we rejoice with her, though we weep for ourselves.
Through this last month, Burlap & Lace has been closed more than open. Now you know why. And I don’t regret any of the moments we high-tailed it to Cary when she needed us. Sometimes it was for doctors appointments, other times because she needed to physically move her residence, and at moments it was simply because we heard in her voice that it would be nice to have family close by, but she would never have wanted to disrupt our lives. It was as if she believed her dying process was an inconvenience to those she loved, and far be it from her to let it be so! We never felt inconvenienced; we felt blessed to be with her.
I’m trying to formulate a plan to reopen….and yet we are still in the process of grieving and saying goodbye. The funeral is this Sunday so we will return to Cary Saturday. There are details to take care of regarding vacating her apartment after the service, so for a few days we will remain in Cary. My hope is to reopen Thursday, March 29. But to be honest, it’s a tall order I’m not sure I can fill.
This is only a small vision of the chaos that awaits sorting at the shop…. one corner of one room. And there are three rooms full with only a walk-path between.
I am going to do my best, and I apologize that I can’t give an exact reopen date until after the funeral takes place and I know how long we will be gone. So I simply ask that you watch my Facebook page for notice of the reopening and spread the word.
Through it all, I thank you for loving me and my family, and for giving such grace yourselves by understanding the shop closures this month. It will be good to see you all again soon. Until then,