yesterday. And yet, we did not celebrate. He says he doesn't even want to talk about it for a week.
For one thing, he still has a terrible infection. But moreso, his mother passed away Monday evening. The doctor called us Monday morning and said all she could do is make her comfortable and we should get there. Joe's brother was in New York and headed back. Joe and I went to the hospital and Joe's sister came along with his brother's wife. We were there all day - we never left her alone.
My mother-in-law spent the day moving her arms about and we finally figured out she was working. She was a coil winder during the years her husband was away in the war. She said many times it was that job that got her the pension she enjoyed. Before that, she had never worked. It gave her a sense of independence and spirit. Her hands moved throughout the entire day. She did not doze off or sleep. And I knew. I knew the moment she stopped 'working' she would go home.
Joe and I left after 7 that evening. He went back at about 8. They all left at 10:30. She stopped working at about 11:00.
My own Mom passed away in 1997 shortly before our first anniversary and someday I will tell you about the remarkable woman she was. After her death, Joe's mom showed me a letter my mother had written to her. Obviously, it was a letter I wanted to keep, and Josephine said I could have it only after her death. I could have the letter, and her wedding picture which I always admired. They will work themselves over to me eventually. And I will cherish them both.
She was an extraordinarily strong woman. Flawed, as we all are, but strong nonetheless. They are stories for another time. For right now, I am going to keep them between me and Joe. Just for the moment because it is what he needs. But I will tell you about both of them. Because there are things to say.