It was on this day last week my wife received a telephone call from someone at her hometown. It was unexpected news. My mother-in-law has passed away while seated at the living room. Her death was discovered by a neighbour who had come to visit my ailing father-in-law.
I say that her demise was unexpected because it is my father-in-law who is the weaker of the two. He is now 95-years old and has been bedridden for more than 4 years. He suffers from most of the ailments inherent of old age but the primary affliction is prostate cancer that I previously wrote about two years ago, here -> Internal plumbing.
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, was still able to move about on her own and except for her history of hypertension, was comparatively in better health. Actually she was not exactly my mother-in-law... because my original one passed away in September 1998. After a year of her passing, my father-in-law remarried another lady because he felt that he still require the companionship. At that time, my new stepmother-in-law, if there is such a term, was already a widow of more than 30 years. It actually puzzled me a bit why she agreed to marry my FIL, because it was quite clear that the ensuing years would entail difficulties. My FIL is not a young man anymore, he can hardly be called wealthy and he is known to be short-tempered.
Over the years of this new marriage, she tried her best to take care of my FIL. As the old man's health deteriorated and his need for attention became more demanding, the challenges became tougher. There were voices of dissatisfaction from both sides of the family. At one instance, some of my wife's brothers even took the drastic attempt of trying to separate them.
But the will of the Almighty is great... the old couple remained together despite the troubles and my stepmother-in-law did her best in carrying out her duties. She may have grumbled a bit, here and there... but that's to be expected. Taking care of an old and temperamental man is not easy work by any means... but she stuck to the job very well. Only Allah swt can repay her for her patience and kindness.
Hajjah Satirah Bt Omar passed away on 2nd December 2010 at the age of 74. May Allah swt bless and protect her soul. Ameen.