Mother-in-Law in Heaven

November 29, 2021

To my Mother-in-law in heaven,

It pains me that I never got to meet you. I never got to hug you or listen to you tell stories of the man I fell in love with. I never got to see the way you looked at him or hear the way you said his name. I never got to see you look at the two of us together, two souls madly in love. I never got to experience you, all that you were and all that you were loved for. You’re something I missed out on and someone I think about often. 

I know the stories of who you were and the way you made others laugh. I know the pieces of him that are because of you and the ones that are because of his father. I know the delicate way you took care of him and the unique way you loved him. I know the pieces of him that mirror you, the ones that are unquestionably your influence and creation. I know your stories and your impact, but I don’t know you. The you that would have been mine, the you that would have made you my mother too. 

When I married him I knew your absence was felt in most everything. What I didn’t know is how that absence would impact me too. How is it that I can grieve for someone that has never fully existed in my life, someone I never met, someone who never met me? The harder I fell for your son, the harder I felt the sting of your absence. You were this missing piece to his puzzle. A piece that I could visualize but one that I could never truly find to put back in place. That’s the complex nature of having a mother in heaven, there is always something missing. For him, that is you. 

I hope you’ve been able to see the remarkable man you created. I hope you can see all that he has become and all that he continually evolves into. I hope you can see the way he transitioned from just a man I loved, to a husband, and then to a father. I hope you can see the beautiful way he loves us and the way he honors you in all of our big moments. I hope you can see it all and that you continuously watch from above, proud and full of joy.

I pray you saw the way he kneeled down and promised his life to loving me.

I pray you saw the way I looked at him, the way I’ve always looked at him, with complete adoration and devoted love.

I pray you saw the day he said “I do” and the moment we solidified our love story.

I pray you saw the tears in my eyes, tears that came from experiencing a dream come true. 

I pray you saw the day he became a father, not just any father, but the best.

I pray you saw the way I looked at him as he held our son and held new pieces of my heart in the process. 

I pray you saw the holidays where we hung the ornament with your name as a reminder of your life and your love. I pray you saw the stories he told us over dinner and the way our kids call you grandma. 

I pray that as much as we strive to keep you alive and remembered in our lives that you’re working just as diligently from up above to witness it all. I pray that you’d love me and feel I’m as perfect for him as I think I am. I pray you’d love our children and this priceless family we’ve created. I pray that you’re up there, proud. 

You are a piece of us that floats above the clouds while simultaneously patched to our hearts. You are the piece we know exists, yet can never find to hold in our hands. 

You’re a piece of him we’ve missed out on and a piece we still find ourselves searching for, even though we know that this piece of him is delicate and unreachable. 

You can and will never be forgotten. You’ve created the man of my dreams, a man I’ve prayed for since I was little. Thank you for loving him until I could, and most of all, I hope you’re up there loving me too. I hope you’re up there loving all of us. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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