While my sister and I tried to be with my mother for the last weeks of her life my mother-in-law gave me the greatest gift a person could have given: time. She stayed in our house and grabbed the girls at 6:15am every morning so Ben and I could sleep in. She cleaned and did laundry so I didn't have to scramble when I was home. She got the girls "on a schedule" so they were rested and agreeable. She watched all four children on her own twice so Ben and I could go out at night. She took care of herself with daily outings to coffee shops and the YMCA so she felt recharged for MORE childcare at the house. She tolerated my mother's needy cat downstairs in her space so I could easily box him up for visits to the hospice home. She also changed his stinky litter and fed him his stinky food.
Perhaps her biggest gift was that she gave me flexibility. Nan is a woman who likes to have a plan and she allowed me the ability to flake out day after day with no agenda other than to get to the hospice to be with my mom for some length of time. I'm sure that drove her BATTY and for that hardship I am really sorry. But she just went along with my flakiness without complaining. She made it possible for me to focus on my family and my mom in the only way I could at that stressful time. And that is why your time here was the greatest gift, Nan. So again, thank you, thank you, thank you.