Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cassy's Corner- Life's Strange Moments

As many of you know, my husband’s mother recently passed away. It was partially expected and partially a surprise. We all, including my father-in-law, are doing surprising well.  But, there were moments that will stay with us that might be slightly outside our perception of the norm.
For example, my sister-in-law, daughter and I were sorting through belongings, at the insistence of my father-in-law. He wanted as much taken care of as possible while we were there. So for two and a half days we rolled up our sleeves and went through 66 years of marriage. We matched broken earring backs to the earrings, we found stick pins that had been missing for years, we complied more silly silk flowers than Carter has pills.
One item we found was a broken music box. The top was split. The music part unglued from the base and the handle to wind it gone. She had loved it, but it was far beyond repair. We shook it, turned it and finally admitted it was for the garbage bag. Five minutes later the garbage bag was full of music from the little box. We dug around to retrieve it and as soon as we touched it, it stopped. Nothing we did could make it run again.
One silly necklace she loved to wear at Christmas was a string of tiny Christmas lights that ran by a battery pack. They twinkled all different colors. We played with it, no go. We checked the battery pack and it was empty. Many of the tiny bulbs were broken. Cindy, my sil, sat it on the bureau as it was time to fix lunch. I went to get something out of the bedroom and stood in shock. I called to my daughter and sil, to come quickly. The necklace was blinking like crazy. No battery in it mind you. Cindy picked it up and said, “Okay, Mom, you’re messing with us.” The necklace went completely brilliant and then died out. No shaking, twisting, or fussing would turn it back on.
Later that night we were all sitting in the den, tired but happy to have many of the family together. We began telling stories- good ones, bad ones, silly ones- you know the sort. My husband began one about how his mother always admonished him for sitting on the pretty straight back chairs deemed for “proper” ladies rather than in the ones meant for someone more his size. At that moment, literally, the dainty chair he was sitting in crumbled to the floor in at least fifteen pieces. My husband had no chance to catch himself and ended up in the midst of a rubble.
My father-in-law looked to the ceiling and said, “We get it, Toni, just give us warning next time.”

We had even more stories such as these over the combined recent four trips we made out there, as did others in our family. My ability to believe in the larger universe is growing. Have others had experiences such as these?


Liz Lipperman said...

Cassy, these are great stories. I like to tell the one about my sister who told me a secret before she died. My younger sister persuaded me to tell her one night on the phone, and just at the precise moment when I uttered her secret, the lights blinked off and on twice. I never told anyone else.

I do believe in messages from above, and it sounds like your mil was letting you know she is okay. Hugs for your loss, though.

Cassy Pickard said...

Thanks, Liz. For the whole time we were there each of us at one time or another would look up at the ceiling and ask her to please stop messing with us. There were so many things. When I finally got to the hospital she was nearly in a coma. Jon had already been there. I'd been in NH taking care of my dad. I got from NH to Iowa as fast as I could. She was nearly unresponsive, but had her moments. I walked in the room, she opened her eyes and said, "What the hell took you so long to get here. I'm dying you know." We all had to laugh.

Lindsay said...

I think your stories just go to show that no matter what, The parent always has the last word.

Anita Clenney said...

Oh my gosh, Cassy. What great stories. I'm so sorry for all the pain you've all gone through and hope you can settle down to the comfort of normal. These stories will help you remember her passing with a smile.

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Oh boy, could I tell you stories! My MIL (I never got the chance to know her as she passed with Dave was in college from ALS) used to come around a lot when the kids were small. Right after we had my middle son, Dave got a job in Ohio. The night before he was to leave, we were sitting on the couch talking about the move, how my mom was upset and his dad told him he had to do what was best for the family. Dave commented on how if his mom were alive it might be different, and all of a sudden we hear the mobile above the baby's crib start to play through the baby monitor. It was as if she was telling him it was okay for her too.

His mom was always my blinking lights and tinkling music. I was forever telling Dave it was his mom. Sometimes I don't think he wanted to believe me, but he did if he thought enough about it.

She doesn't come around as much now. Sometimes I think it's because his dad has since passed and they are making up for lost time in heaven. :-)