Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Love the ones you love.

Dear friends. I have been absent for two weeks.

On Friday, August 20th, we received a phone call from Chris' mom, letting us know that she was not well, and that they found a mass on one of her lungs. On Saturday, she was taken to the hospital via ambulance because she was unable to breathe. By Monday, she was hooked up to a breathing machine to help her breathe. On Tuesday I booked us tickets for us to go for a visit. Wednesday morning, at 1 AM we received a phone call from Chris' sister to tell us that we had to come sooner. We left Victoria for Barrie, Ontario, after noon on August 25th. We arrived in Barrie at 8:45PM.

Gail Joanne Cunningham passed away at 7:45 PM on Wednesday, August 25th.

We were not able to be there to say 'goodbye'.

We thought that she was ill, and that she would get well and be coming home soon.

Over the days following we helped make plans to ensure a beautiful and peaceful celebration of her life. We spent time with Chris' brothers and sisters, nieces and nephew, and his dad. His amazingly strong, loving dad.

I have known Gail for 11 years and about 1 month. I liked to refer to her as my MIL (mother-in-law). I remember the first time that I met her; it was actually on the phone. Chris had told her that he had a date over and she didn't believe him. She spoke with me - and I remember to this day, how excited she was that her son had met someone. She had a smile in her voice.

Over the years we were blessed to spend a lot of time with her. We did Sunday dinners together, we liked to stop in on Thursday or Friday nights to sit with them on their couch and eat treats, we went to many restaurants together, we spent holidays with them. They moved back to Ontario, 2. 5 years ago. Gail was missing her family out east and she wanted a change. I was very saddened to see them leave, but part of me understood why she made the move. We went and visited them 5 months after they left, and had a nice visit.

Although there were times that we struggled with our relationship, I know deep in my heart that Gail was a wonderful woman, who loved her children, and always meant well. I think that she sometimes had a difficult time expressing just how much she loved them, but one thing that I do know, is that she loved who she loved, and she loved to be loved.

I miss her already. I miss that she won't be at our wedding most of all. Months ago, she asked Chris if she could walk him down the aisle. I sort of laughed at the question and said that our wedding wasn't traditional, so she could do whatever she wanted. And now, she won't be there to walk her beautiful son down the aisle on his special day. I know that she will be there in spirit, there watching us declare our love, but I would much prefer to see her smiling at us, her dancing with her son, her holding her husband's hand, and her basking in the pride that she had for her boy on his wedding day.

That is all that I have the energy to write this evening. Gail loved the food that I made. She always told me that I must have 'Italian' in me because I always made her the best pasta. My favourite part of that, is that she pronounced 'Italian' as 'Eye-talian'. I will share my lasagna recipe that I know was one of her favourites.

I hope that you are all well. Staying out of trouble. Telling those around you how much you love them.




Jenny said...

rI'm so sorry Cheryl (and Chris).
Even though she won't be there she will show herself somehow at your wedding. When my sister got married, on the way to the wedding ceremony his favourite song(comfortably numb) began playing on the radio. I know that it was my dad giving my sister the thumbs up for the wedding.
She sounds like a beautiful lady. She was very lucky to have such a treasure as you in her life.
Hope the days are going okay...

Jenny said...

whether it's through a song, a butterfly landing on your shoe or a rainbow ( a smile from your loved one in heaven) she will show herself....

Anonymous said...

I just read your blog, and was in tears. the pictures were beautiful, I considered Gail a friend, we always had fun when we were together and I know that she loved Chris with all her heart, she also thought you were the perfect partner for Chris, and loved you as well. Yes, she had her times, but she was you MIL.My heart goes out to Chris and his family, especially his Dad, he is a great man. Love you.

rashmi said...

Awww r one of a kind! What great pics!! You brought tears to my eyes with your loving words about your "MIL". As Jenny mentioned on her post Chris' mom will be there in spirit...n someone else that was equally important to all of us. Big hugs honey!!!