Letter to my Mother-in-law

Bedelia had a huge heart and a very caring spirit. She was my mother in law. But, she was not just that… She was my favorite person in Javier’s family! 

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She passed away last Saturday, and our hearts are shattered in pieces. 

I’ve never felt this kind of anger and pain before. I feel angry because she died so far away from us and alone and we didn’t had the chance to hug each other one more time. I feel anger for a lot of things I can’t even explain... Today I’m devastated. And in the middle of this grieving I’m realizing she is the very first loved one I've lost, I’ve never had to deal with grief and being so far away (wishing to be there) makes everything much harder.


I remember when Javier and I got engaged, someone told me to make sure I liked his family, because when you get married, you marry into each other's families too. I never had a doubt about her… I thought Javier was the whole package and scoring her as my mother-in-law felt like winning the Jackpot!


She was a bright woman way ahead of her time, a "to do list" extraordinaire, wine lover and the best hostess in the world. When you stayed at her home, (“hotel mama” as we liked to call it) her dedication was outstanding. She always made me feel very special… like if I was one of her children. She was funny and spontaneous. She was ALWAYS the first one to call on anniversaries, birthdays and holidays... I see so much of her in Lucy, and I couldn’t feel more honored and blessed because through my daughter, I still have so much of her in my life.  

I’m thankful for the heart-to-heart talks we inevitably had (usually on social Fridays) after many many glasses of wine, for always being the best listener and for offering guidance (without judging) whenever I needed it. But there is one other massive thing I have to thank her for: I have to thank her for the way she raised her son, my husband. She gave him life, and she shaped him into the gentle, kind-hearted human that he is today.  I also want to thank her for taking care of the girls while I was attending photography school. Without her, I could have never become a photographer when I did... None of this would be possible!  

Regrets, I have tons! We don’t have enough pictures, we didn't give each other enough hugs... I never thanked her for all the wonderful things she did for me and I never told her that she was the only person that felt like a mother when my own was far away from me... She just felt like home to me, and it isn't until now that I’m figuring that out... silly me, huh?  Why does life work this way?

She was so much like a mother to me, that the last time we hugged (right before moving to Chicago) she whispered (in the most loving way) while hugging me: "stop being so impulsive" and I got so pissed… But you were so right Bedelia. And I’m so sorry!


This absence is going to be huge. So big that I don’t know how are we going to get around it... Today, I’ll promise you again what I promised before moving: I will always do my part. I will keep supporting him. I will keep believing in him. And I will try to be the best mother that I can be for tus niñitas (as you called my girls... our girls).  And Babu, I promise you today that you will stay alive in our hearts forever. I will make sure of that.

Alicia

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