Mom and Rachel
"Of course, I replied." Continuing on with my food preparation, I didn't give the request another thought.
Today, 10:50 AM on the nose, not a second earlier and not a second later Rachel and I needed to leave the house to make her hair appointment. Old folks are funny, set in their ways and hell bent on keeping their independence by controlling every little detail of their lives. God help anyone who does not fall in line with their commands!
My MIL, now 90, is no different than any other senior that I've befriended in my life. Old people, when they reach a certain age, start to remind me of children. The way they shrink and look so small, their frailty and need for help, triggers something in my soul, even Rachel, my MIL, the woman I had not enjoyed living with for the majority of the last 6 years!
Pulling up to the hair salon, Rachel looks around at all the cars and says, "Shit! There's a wait!"
"Why don't you just go in, see how long, I will wait for you in case you don't want to wait." I offered politely.
"Ok." My MIL replied as she climbed out of the truck.
I see her through the window. I see her hairdresser come over and put her arm around Rachel. Uh Oh. The hairdresser looks up at me and waves. My MIL comes out the door with the hairdresser, puzzled expression on both of their faces.
"Next week. Your hair still looks good... but come next week, boy will you need a set!" Her hairdresser cheerfully exclaimed as she walked my MIL back to the truck.
Ah, I was right, she was a week early. She forgot she had gone last week. I didn't want to make a big deal out of her memory slip-up.
"Do you want to come out and run my errands with me?" I offer.
"Sure! That will be nice. It's a nice day." My MIL answered, sitting back with a grin on her face. It was a freezing cold day, but sunny. If she considers it nice, I am not going to argue with her.
I drove off to our first stop but not before Rachel decides to talk about dying and what she expects when the Grim Reaper comes knocking on her door.
"You know, when I die, your mom is going to be there waiting for me." My MIL blurted out, breaking the silence.
Like a shot, the moment Rachel said this sentence, I felt my mom's presence and nearly broke out in tears. I had goose bumps on my skin. Suddenly, I missed my mom and felt her love. Mom's presence was so strongly that I had to look in the back seat of my truck to see if I could see her apparition!
"I believe you are right. I believe when we die there's a big party, a celebration of our life with all the people who had passed before us. I believe you, my mom will be the first one you see." I said to my MIL, holding back the emotion that was welling up in my heart.
"Your mom, she was the sweetest person I had ever met. I know she will be there for me. I know it!" My MIL insisted.
Rachel continued. "I believe when we die, we enter a tunnel of love. I remember reading the Bible when I was a kid and the only thing I got out of it is that God is Love. Love is all there is. I look forward to being engulfed in God's love and being part of all the love." Rachel shared, talking to me like I was her best friend.
Today's conversation with my MIL was interesting, I can't help but compare her innocence with that of a child. Children will ASK YOU "where do we go when we die?" Seniors, like Rachel will TELL YOU where we go when we die. I suppose living a long life does one thing, prepares us for death.