My father-in-law is dying.

//My father-in-law is dying.

Can I confess something that is heavy on my heart? I’m struggling right now. Really struggling.

My father-in-law is dying.

My husband’s father is dying.

father in law dying - theCityMoms

My father-in-law with the kindest eyes and the incredible memory cataloging all of life’s moments.

My father-in-law who as a single dad, managed to raise two incredible boys, coach their Little League and basketball teams, keep the family afloat and learn to cook. Magical dinners the boys still talk about.

My father-in-law who has the funniest, throatiest laugh that comes out of nowhere. Who loves old movies and can recite full casts of films I’ve never seen. And lines. And where each of those actors went on next.

My father-in-law who despite my own family issues, has always made me feel part of his. Where my own father failed, he made me feel loved. And from the start declared me ‘the one’ and told my husband he’d be crazy not to marry me. {Thankfully he listened.}

My father-in-law is dying.

In some ways it’s been a long road – he had been sick for years with a rare form of cancer, but beat it. Then the dementia came. And then the cancer reappeared and is what he’ll eventually pass from.

But in other ways, this has just been so damn fast. He was healthy last summer. Had color. Laughed. Didn’t have trouble walking around. Joked around with my husband. Talked about basketball. Came to the kids’ tennis matches and concerts.

And then, he became my father-in-law who was dying.

I think one of the scariest pieces of this whole process is watching my husband die a little alongside him too. My vivacious, sarcastic, funny husband. My husband who is not the oldest and not the strongest but the closest and therefore the one who has to step up. My husband who is content being the breadwinner but not carrying the mental load… that’s my job. But he has his stepmom to care for {who he now calls “Mom”} and now must step up there. My husband who is a wonderful dad, and loves our little family. He’s quieter. More reserved.

My father-in-law is dying.

And I’m seeing my kids suffer from losing their Opa. Their beloved Opa who works hard puzzles with them on the dining room table, and cooks with them in the kitchen and talks in his patient, meticulous voice when explaining things. We have all the books on dying, and they’ve watched Opa wither, and they – like us – know what’s coming. But that doesn’t make it easier.

We’ve spent years honing in on our skills as parents. But nothing prepared us to lose our own parents. To watch them age. To watch them struggle. To watch them die.

And really there is no end to this post other than to know that so many of you readers have been here before. And that my husband depends on me right now. And so do my kids. And one of us has to be strong.


The writer of this post wished to remain anonymous but for all mommas, families and parents out there living this reality, she wants you to know you aren’t alone. 

2019-02-19T15:32:13-05:00February 19th, 2019|
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