John was always very close to his parents. So much so, that when he married his first wife, they lived in a small house behind his parents’ home. If he wasn’t working, much of his waking hours were spent with his father. He was devastated when his father passed away suddenly on July 6th, 2005.
His mother was frail and in poor health, with osteoporosis and COPD. At first, John started sleeping in the glassed-in porch outside of her bedroom and eventually moved into her bedroom, sleeping on an air mattress, leaving Sarah and the children in the little house. Sarah and the children moved into the upstairs of the big house when the weather turned cold.
John spent very little time with Sarah. He even started wearing his father’s wedding band because he said that it was like he had two wives.
When John was away at work, in was Sarah’s job to tend to his mother and clean the house. She rarely left home.
One morning in December, 2008, while John was upstairs getting ready for work, Sarah went downstairs to get some clothes out of the dryer, she heard her mother-in-law groan. She went to investigate, and found her crumpled up in the floor. She ran to get John, who then took his mother to the hospital. She had broken her hip. She had surgery and was sent home a few days later because she refused to go to rehab.
About the same time, Sarah’s mother decided to move to a retirement village in Florida. Sarah felt like she had lost her mother.
John’s mother was now helpless as a baby. She could still feed herself and continued to smoke even though she was on oxygen 24 hours a day. It became Sarah’s job to change her, prepare her food, and do anything her mother-in-law asked her to do. Mercifully, John took over when he came home. There were nurses that came maybe twice a week.
On April 1st, 2009, Sarah noticed that her mother-in-law was not doing well. She mentioned to John that he might want to stay home from work. He went anyway, saying that his mother would be okay. After he left, Sarah went to check on his mother and noticed she was breathing funny and that she wasn’t responding when Sarah asked if she was all right. She immediately called John. She went in the dining room to watch for him. While looking out the window, she felt a coolness in the room for a few seconds. When John came home, his mother was already gone. Sarah was sure that she had felt her mother-in-law’s spirit.
From the time John’s mother came home from the hospital in December until she died, Sarah only left the house once when her mother-in-law went to see the doctor. She was so used to not going anywhere, that she was taken by surprise when, after his mother died, John asked her to go to the store with him.
When his mother died, so did a part of John. He stopped making repairs to the house and cutting the grass. The expensive lawn mower that he purchased a year earlier sat in the backyard until trees grew around it. It only needed a belt to make it run, but seven years later, it still sits in the same place.