This thought has been in my head for a few days. I just saw my brother's daughter, visiting from Michigan with her two adorable little girls. I can see her other grandmother in her. Of my siblings' mothers-in-law, Joanne seemed to understand the plight of the working mother best. Even better than my own mother, who didn't work outside the home and raise a family.
Joanne and my mother died the same summer. In fact, my mother was in her next to last battles of life and death, when we buried Joanne. I called that week, a week of death, because my niece's husband, then in California, was also very sick. He survived.
At the kids' birthday parties or Christmas Eve gatherings, Joanne and I talked. One time we did talk about working. I believe she was like me, working more out of necessity than a desire to be a career woman, the idea promoted by women libbers. She recalled leaving for work as her babies stood at the screen door, crying. Mary Ellen did that too when she was a toddler. How that breaks a mother's heart, we both agreed. Her empathy valued my desire to be a stay at home mom.
At my brother's house, I see the pictures of Joanne and I miss her. She was quiet, soothing. The last Christmas party as she said good-bye, a sorrow rose to her eyes. Her cancer, eating away at her brain, would win in about six months and I believe she knew the time limit.
But we live with a resurrection hope this Saturday before Easter. Some day all tears will be wiped away because of what we celebrate tomorrow and every day as Christians. Christ, the Lord is risen. He is risen, indeed.