Missin’ Her

By: sonofabeach96

Jun 29 2015

Category: Uncategorized


I was reading a post this morning on a blog I follow.  This person was discussing the loss of her mother.  It caused me to reflect on the loss of someone I loved.  My mother-in-law.

She was quite the person, real salt of the earth kind.  She was kind, would give you the shirt of her back, was spiritual without being religious, and she had a dry but twisted sense of humor. Basically, we were kindred spirits.  My wife says, only half jokingly, that her mom liked me better than her.  Somehow, I doubt that, but, anyway.

CJ (what I, and many others, called her) was from the North Carolina foothills, a small southern town that provided her with a drawal and a welcoming nature.  She spent a lot of time in Kentucky with family and eventually married a man (my father-in-law) and settled there.  When my wife was 8 or 9 they divorced.  She remarried and had a  second daughter, 13 years younger than my wife.  The second marriage ended in a divorce too, ugly, he kinda went off the deep end from what I know.  This caused her to reassess her life, as one could imagine.  Anyway, she decided to pick up and head south, to Slidell, LA, to stay with a friend temporarily.  At least that was the plan.  She fell in love with the area and eventually settled on the Mississippi coast.  She lived there til the day she died (ill get to that in a bit).

i came along in the early 90’s when I started dating my wife.  I loved her mom from the start.  We became fast friends and I always looked forward to going down there or for them to come visit us.  In the 20 years I knew her, we never once said a cross word to each other.  Truth be told, my wife was always a bit taken aback by the fact that we always got along great together where the two of the them would often times clash.  I had to play mediator on more than one occasion.

Ill never forget the day we got that awful call, that nobody wants to get.  It was a Friday, around 8:00 in the evening.  It was my wife’s sister, who was and still does live in the same coastal town.  I remember hearing my wife scream, “NOOOOOO”, into the phone and watching her dissolve into a ball on the floor.  It took several minutes for her to be able to tell me what had happened.  CJ had been to visit a friend, had stopped at the grocery.  She, for reasons unknown, decided to take the beach road to get home.  The way she normally would have taken was quicker.  Maybe it was a pretty day and she wanted to drive along the water.  We will never know.  In order to get to that route, she had to cross train tracks that run parallel to the beach.  It was at a crossing that had no gate, just the crossing sign.  I don’t even think it had lights.  She drove right out in front of it, that god damn speeding train!!!  The sadly ironic thing is that this particular crossing had been slated to be closed post-Katrina but hadn’t been, 5 years after the hurricane no less.  After the accident, that crossing was closed within a month.  That still pisses me off!

it was devastating.  I was in shock.  My wife was too, as you can imagine.  All of us were.  My wife kept herself busy with arrangements and such.  I kept myself busy taking care of the boys to free her up to remain busy.  I’ve never cried so much in my life.

Reading that other blog post isn’t the only thing that’s prompted this post.  We are leaving in three days to head south,  we will be staying in her moms house, as her sister and my brother-in-law and niece and nephew all live there now.  It all happened 5 years ago but every time we go for a visit reality hits again.

Its funny though, when we are in her house, in the area that she loved so much, when I’m eating shrimp étouffée in New Orleans, or crawfish from a roadside stand, when I see the live oak trees in her yard (which Katrina mercifully spared), I feel her.  I swear I hear her voice whispering through those tree limbs on the soft southern breeze.  I know she’s there, in some form.  I can just feel her.

I am lucky to have both my parents still.  And, even though my mom is certifiable and my dad is absent, I know I’m blessed.  To all of you who have lost one or both of your parents, I am truly sorry. May peace of mind and good memories head your way.  I wish I could fill the void this left in my wife’s heart.  I guess nothing else ever could.

30 comments on “Missin’ Her”

  1. What a sweet remembrance of your mother in laws legacy. To have someone speak so highly of you after you are gone, is proof of a life lived well. The way you got on with her is just wonderful to read. As my grandfather would say, “You’re a keeper!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. She was terrific. She was human, and had flaws, of course. But, she was amazing and her death left a huge hole in my life as well. It was a terrible time and I had also lost my grandfather shortly before she died. It all was too much and we nearly lost each other. Love survives though. We are still on the clock.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. She took a different route because was time for her to come back home.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is incredibly sad and so nice of a tribute to her. God bless that beautiful soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A beautiful piece and a lovely tribute to your mother-in-law.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely reminiscence. Thanks for reposting it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Tears and hugs to you and your family SOB. It is never easy to forget the day our loved ones were taken from us, but you have made a lovely way to remember her spirit by sharing this post with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is a beautiful piece. I can tell it was written from the bottom of your heart and soul. I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. May she continue to rest in peace. I’m sure she’s watching over you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. […] boss leaves and it’s time to turn on some tunes. I check out SOB and my eyes become misty. I can’t help it because I know all too well, exactly how they feel. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sad, personal, and lovely words. Thank you for sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a great post. I can feel the connection in your writing about your mother-in-law. She would probably love you writing about her wouldn’t she? I know you and your wife think of her daily. Gone too soon. I teared up reading this. You have a gift in writing your emotions out and is feeling it through your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sure you do. Every time I read more about you I realize what a great person you are and family too. Sorry about your mil but the pain of losing a mom never really goes away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. My wife can certainly attest to that. It nearly broke everything. Very difficult time, and we were lucky to have survived it. She was my buddy. Loved her very much. 😔


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