project 365 – day 51: rest in peace

26 April 2010

My mother-in-law passed away last Saturday.

Today is her viewing, and tomorrow is the funeral.

Even though we knew it was coming, it seems very surreal.  Up until two days ago, my greatest worry was work.  Losing a loved one really puts things in perspective.

My mother-in-law had been sick and under hospice care pretty much since March.  But even then, she was still strong, determined, and faithful.  I am in awe of her and respect her so much.

In the summer of 2002, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  I remember because I was in the middle of studying for the bar exam at this time.  I visited her in the hospital and she told me nevermind her, and just concentrate on studying.  She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma and the doctors pretty much gave her only 6 months to live.  But she proved them all wrong.

She recovered and went on her merry way –traveling to the Philippines, France, Portugal, Spain, Israel, and going on several cruises.  She was fit, healthy, vibrant, and back to her normal self.

Then in 2008, her cancer came back in the form of breast cancer –which she again beat.  This time, you can tell she was affected.  She slowed down her pace, but still managed to travel.  She spent part of the year in their home in the Philippines.  Her health deteriorated, however, but she didn’t let that stop her from living her life.

Then in February of this year, she had a seizure.  Her brain tumor came back, and she decided it was time.  She lived the rest of her life at home surrounded by her loved ones.  She would have been 65 years old on May 1st.

Words can’t express how sad I am.  For my husband, for my brother-in-laws, for my father-in-law.  Imagine losing your life partner.  This is the woman he’s shared his life with for almost 40 years.  This is their mother.  The woman who held the family together and raised them with love, faith, and strong morals.

When I joined my husband’s family, I was very lucky to gain a wonderful mother-in-law.  There were no horror stories here.  In fact, my greatest dilemma was figuring out what to call her –mom?  Mrs. D?!  She was sweet, kind, very generous and very loving.  In fact, she and my mother got along so well that we all took family vacations together.  I appreciate her love for me, and her love for my family.

I wish I told her all of this before she passed, but I hope she knows that I love her.

Rest in peace.  I miss you.



  1. Hi Kat, So sorry for your loss. Please give our condolences to Mark and his family. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. =(

    I was really sad when I got your text. I’ve always liked Tita Elsa! I hope Mark, his bros, and dad are coping well…

    You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. sorry to hear about the demise of your mother-in-law. extending my deepest sympathy to you and esp. to your husband and his family. at least you have many sweet memories of her and that you can keep forever in your heart.

  4. so sorry to hear this kat, my condolences. hope the family’s coping well. hugs to everybody.

  5. My deepest condolences Kat to you and esp your husband and his father and siblings.

  6. Hi Kat – so sorry to hear about your loss. Your MIL sounds like she was a wonderful person much loved by you. You, Mark and his family are in my thoughts.

    A big hug to you my dear

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