Dear 2012: Uncle.

By Mir
September 30, 2012

My mother-in-law claimed not to like dogs, which was just about the only time I ever heard her claim to not like any living thing. But it turned out that Licorice absolutely adored her, and she loved Licorice right back.

This was not a surprise to me, because 1) Licorice is adorable and 2) my mother-in-law was a gentle, loving soul. Even when she was so sick, this last time, whenever Otto called her, she would always ask first how Chickadee was doing, how Monkey and I were holding up, and then—if he was lucky, ha—how Otto himself was. This woman accepted me and my children into her family effortlessly, considering my kids her own grandkids without a second thought. We were lucky to have her for the time we did.

She passed away last night. We knew it was coming, but of course there’s really no preparing. Otto and his siblings sure could use any spare prayers you might have right about now.

(This year is almost over, right? RIGHT??)


  1. Kami

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Mir. Thoughts and prayers headed your way.

  2. RuthWells

    Oh Mir, Otto, I’m so sorry. Sending love.

  3. Claire

    So sorry for your loss. Love to you and yours

  4. Liz

    I’m so sorry for your loss

  5. Birchsprite

    Oh no! Sending you all hugs and love. There are no words. Thinking of you all but sending the warmest wishes to Otto at this impossible time.

  6. susan getgood

    hugs and love to you all.

    and yes here’s to 2013.


  7. Navhelowife

    Mir, my prayers go out for you, for Otto, for Otto’s family, for your family. Losing our mother is a life changing event, no matter how much you cognitively know that it is going to happen. I lost my mother in 2011, and while it was not unexpected, it was still hard. So my sympathy and my prayers for all of you.

  8. Little Bird

    You have my deepest condolences.

  9. angela s

    Three months left…you’re 75% done. Mercy, I’m sorry! Sending prayers.

  10. Melanie

    I am so very sorry! Please know that I am praying for you all right now!

  11. ccr in MA

    Oh, Mir. I am so sorry for your loss. And YES, 2012 is practically almost done, and 2013 will be So Much Better!

  12. gorillabuns

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  13. Musingsfromme/Jill

    Oh Mir, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember reading your post about her fall and hoping that she would make a full recovery.

  14. Amanda

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. No matter how anticipated it is, it’s always hard to lose someone you loved (and who loved you all!).

  15. Rachel

    =( Thinking of you…

  16. Jaime

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  17. kimmie

    SO sorry for your loss. ((((HUGE HUGS))))

  18. Beth in IA

    Otto, Mir and your entire family – hold tight to your memories for comfort, lean on each other and your friends for strength, and know that there is a whole community here on the Internet that is mourning with you. Condolences and prayers for you all!

  19. Brigid

    Oh Mir. Sending sincere sympathies and so much love to you, Otto, and the kids.

    If you need something to make you smile today: I am not a dog person, but finally relented (in part due to your love for and writing about Licorice) and our family now has a 9-wk old rescue puppy. You do good Mir without even knowing it. XO

  20. Kgp

    My deepest sympathies to Otto and the rest of his/your family. And prayers that the hits stop coming for you and yours this year.

  21. TracyB

    I am so sorry for your loss. But even expectingly doesn’t help the pain. Been there and completely understand! I know that my Father will swoop you and your family up and give you comfort at this time. Celebrate the lovely lady and remember all she gave to you and your family! {{{{{{hugs}}}}}

  22. Crista

    Oh I am so sorry. You’re right that there is no preparing for it. I know this from firsthand experience with my MIL last year. I’m giving you advice you didn’t ask for and telling you that you are Otto’s greatest comfort right now. Even if he doesn’t ask for it or even seem to want it, any little touch will help “ground” him to you. My DH walked around in a daze for at least a week, but every time I reached for his hand or put my hand on his shoulder he would hold tight or lean into me.
    I will hold all of you in my prayers, but especially Otto and his brothers. Again, I am so, so sorry.

  23. erika

    Praying for you all.
    So, so sorry.

  24. Kim

    So sorry for your loss – prayers going out to all of you.

  25. Niki

    I am so, so sorry for all of you. Praying…..

  26. Jen

    Mir, I am so sorry for Otto and you and Otto’s famly.

    2012 can suck it. 2013 better be the best freaking year of your life.

  27. Randi

    Mir, Otto and Family – please accept my sincerest of condolences.

  28. Mary Fran

    Oh, I’m so, so sorry. Thinking of Otto, you, the whole family. Will keep you in a warm embrace of prayers.

  29. Sharon

    You’re right, there is no way to prepare for such a loss. Hang onto each other, share stories and memories, and allow the tears to flow. It might help to plan your next family gathering now so you know when you will see everyone again:)

  30. Ingrid

    So sorry to hear this. :( Deepest condolences for your loss. Keeping you all in my thoughts.

  31. Jenn

    I’m so sorry for your loss! Your family is in my prayers.

  32. Jodifur

    I’m so, so sorry.

  33. Bonnie

    So sorry for your losses. It is too much. One day at a time.

  34. Emily

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. My thoughts go out to you and Otto.

  35. Steff

    So very sorry!

  36. Mom24@4evermom

    Very, very sorry for your loss. I’ve prayed about her over the years and enjoyed her rebounds. Life is very unfair, isn’t it?

  37. Carrie

    I’m so sorry for your loss, prayers being said for you and Otto as well as all of Otto’s family right now. :(

  38. Jen

    Oh Mir. I am so sorry. So many blessings to you and Otto and your whole family.

  39. Stimey

    You and your family have all my love.

  40. Kayt

    It’s almost over, it’s almost over, right?

    So many hugs and warm thoughts for all of you guys. I’m so sorry.

  41. Tenessa

    Internet hugs to your family from mine. So sorry for your loss. <3

  42. Melody

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. What a horrible year.

  43. Laurie

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

  44. Jeanie

    Please accept my condolences on your loss. She sounds like a lovely woman. You and your family are always in my prayers.

  45. Melissa

    I am very sorry.

  46. Keryn

    I wish knew what to say besides: I’m so sorry for your loss. May the Lord be with you, Mir, and Otto, and all your family. We’re praying for you.

  47. NTE

    I was going to cuss out 2012 for you, but instead, I’ll just send my heartfelt sympathies. Just keep hanging on, MIr & Family. Hugs.

  48. Em

    Really 2012. Enough. I am so sorry for your loss

  49. ste

    So sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad 2 months ago and it isn’t easy. But I’ve been told that while the first days are filled with confusion and sadness, down the road you will be left only with beautiful memories.

  50. Betsy

    So sorry.

  51. karen

    Otto and Mir – so sad to hear of the loss of your mother…

    Love her photo with Licorice…

  52. TC

    So sorry for your loss, Otto…and to you, too, Mir, and the kids. This is all so very hard.

  53. Elizabeth

    Very sorry for your loss. Wishing your family peace, hugs and chocolate.
    2012 can let up any time now.

  54. amy

    This truly is your annus horribulus. I am so very sorry for your loss. At some point itsimply must get better. You are in my thoughts

  55. Liza

    Oh Mir, and Otto, I am so sorry for your loss.

  56. StephLove

    I’m very sorry for your loss. I suspect there’s really no preparing for a parent’s death.

  57. Denise

    I am so, so, so sorry. *sniff* Really sorry.

  58. Isabel

    I am so very sorry for your loss! I can only pray that your whole family finds peace and acceptance in losing a very much loved parent. This year has 92 days left…it will soon be over! {{{{mir&family}}}}.


  59. Megan

    Oh Mir. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Even when it’s expected you’re still never ready. I hope you find some comfort and peace together.

  60. Mary Beth

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful woman. You, Otto, and your family are in my prayers.

  61. KarenP

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for comfort for your family.

  62. Kate

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I think of, and pray for you all every day. 2013 is right around the corner! Internet hugs of the non creepy kind to you all – including Otto and his siblings.

  63. Lucinda

    Prayers for your entire family.

  64. J from Ireland

    Aw Mir, may she rest in peace. I am so sorry for your loss, please give Otto my kind regards. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  65. Veronica

    I am so sorry. Peace and strength for you all.

  66. Dara

    So sorry for your family’s loss.

  67. Jill W.

    Oh no, Mir. I’m so sorry to hear it. You are all in my prayers.

  68. Maria

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers and peace for your whole family.
    Hurry up, 2013!!

  69. LisaB

    Otto and Mir, you have my deepest sympathy. Losing your mother, even when not unexpected is one of the most difficult times in our lives. Sending you love and prayers for you both and your family.

  70. Jean

    Mir and Otto – My deepest condolences and prayers during this sad time for your family.

  71. cardinal

    Condolences to all of you. Especially pretty Mir.

  72. Jenn

    Oh Mir, Mir, Mir. Yes. Year over. Now. You get to start over next week.

    I am so sorry, honey. Love to all of you. xoxoxo

  73. Mandy

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Hugs to everyone.

  74. Kristine N

    sorry for yours and Otto’s loss…… Losing your mother is the hardest thing….

    Hugs for all of you.

  75. amy

    So very sorry for your loss. :(

  76. Sherri

    The year is almost over…..

    My prayers are with your entire family.

  77. StephMA

    (((hugs))) to you, Otto and the kiddos. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Your mil sounds like a sweetheart. I am sorry for your loss.

  78. Jessica Goodman

    So sorry to hear this sad news. Thinking of you and your family.

  79. Mary

    So very, very sorry. Prayers and comforting thoughts to you all.

    (Uncle is the only word………)

  80. Sarahtoo

    Oh, Mir and Otto–I’m so sorry for your loss. Even if you know it’s coming, it’s still a shock, and nothing that you can really prepare for. You will get through this, I know. But still. Sucks. I’m thinking of you (you don’t know me, but every bit of good karma set your way has to help, right?). [[hugs]]

  81. LizD

    My deep condolences on Otto’s and your loss. It is very painful to lose a beloved family member, even when “expected.”

    I join you in feeling that 2012 has sucked big hairy donkey balls (please pardon my French.) There has been too much illness and death in my family this year, too. Hubs and I are planning an intimate celebration for 12/31/2012 in order to kick 2012 to the curb and welcome in 2013. I, too, can hardly wait for this wretched year to end.

    Incredibly, the days get better, bit by bit. Here is to all of us finding our “new normal,” as life will never be quite the same.

    Thank you for blogging. You have helped me so much.

    ooxx LizD

  82. ailo

    I’m so, so sorry. To Otto for his mother, to your for an accepting MIL, to Monkey and Chickadee for a bonus loving grandmother. Love to you all.

  83. Emily

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending peace to you all.

  84. Picklemommy

    Oh Mir & Otto,
    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Sending you prayers, and strength during this difficult time. And I am going to have a few words with 2012 on your behalf. Because enough is enough.

  85. Alyce

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My best thoughts are with you and your family at this troubling time.

  86. Debby

    So very sorry, Mir. Sending all the positive thoughts I can muster your way.

  87. Heather

    I’m so sorry, hon.

  88. Reb

    I’m so sorry. She sounds wonderful.

  89. Cele

    I’ve said since January I can’t wait until it’s 2013 and this @!#$ year is over.

    My prayers and thoughts to Otto, his family, and to you.

  90. Another Dawn

    My sincere sympathies for your loss. Please give Otto my condolences.

  91. Missy

    So very sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers to you, Otto and your families.

  92. Lauren

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  93. Jenn

    Oh My. I’m so sorry. All my thoughts and positive energy are headed toward Otto, his family and all of you.

  94. djlott

    I’m so sorry for your loss, praying for peace and comfort for your family.

  95. Wendy E

    Mir and Family, I am so incredibly sorry to hear this. I will be sending you and yours prayers.

  96. Nancy R

    Thoughts and prayers to the Otto Family.

  97. Karen R

    I am so very sorry for your loss. She sounds like a good person to have had in your life.

  98. Groovecatmom

    I am very sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful woman and clearly was very loved and will be missed!

  99. Leslie

    Hugs to you and Otto and your family.

  100. Kristi S

    I’m so sorry. I know she will be deeply missed. Sending love and prayers to you and Otto’s entire family.

  101. Rocky Mountain Woman

    Sending love and better mojo, i too am waiting for a new year…



  102. Elizabeth

    I am so very sorry for your loss. May you be comforted.

  103. liv

    so incredibly sorry to hear it, mir. thoughts and prayers going to you all.

  104. Kailani

    My deepest sympathies to the entire family. May you find peace in each other during this difficult time and remember the best of times with love.

  105. cheyenna

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to Otto and his family and all those who this kind soul touched.

  106. Lara

    So sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences to you all. You have a LOT of crappiness to make up for year 2013!!

  107. Miriam

    Mir, my thoughts and prayers are with Otto and his family, and continue to be with you and the kids. You are so very strong…and amazing…and pretty. Hugs.

  108. Hall

    I am so sorry to hear this. Sending Otto and his family thoughts of love and peace. Surely the tide will turn for your family soon!

  109. Zudie

    So sorry for your loss. Not sure what to say….Just take it day by day. Wish I could make things better for you.

  110. elswhere

    Oh, Mir. I’m so very sorry. May her memory be a blessing.

  111. Nia

    So sorry for your family’s loss. Prayers and hugs to all of you.

  112. Angie McCullagh

    I’m sorry, Mir. I can tell she’s a sweet lady just by looking at her.

  113. Headless Mom

    Hugs and prayers for comfort and healing. I’m so sorry this is happening all at the same time.

    Uncle, indeed.

  114. Aree Ech

    Oh Mir. All good thoughts for you and Otto. And the rest of the family. May she rest in peace.

  115. brigitte


  116. addy

    My sincerest condolences to Otto and to you. Even when you are prepared – you’re not prepared. Love to all.

  117. Sheila

    I hope you and Otto feel lifted by all the prayers and good thoughts from all of us here. My sympathy is with you all.

  118. Laura

    I am so sorry for your loss. Blessings and peace of heart to you and all your dear ones.

  119. DW

    Oh Otto. I am so sorry.

  120. Lindsey

    I’m so sorry for your loss…. it’s never easy even when it is expected. Hugs to you all.

  121. Heather

    There are no words. I’m so sorry for your loss, Mir.

  122. Kendra

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  123. lily

    I’m sending prayers for your whole family. I’m so sorry that Otto and all of you lost someone you all have loved dearly.

  124. Stacy

    I’m so sorry. I’ll be praying for Otto and his/your family.

  125. Tracey

    Ahh, so sorry for Otto’s loss. It doesn’t matter how old we are, the loss of a parent is…immeasurable.

    The year is indeed almost over. Hopefully 2013 will bring better things all around.

  126. cindy

    I’m so, so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  127. JS

    Hope family, friends and neighbors bring you comfort and food at this time. There’s nothing like a casserole to make it all better, or at least ease your grief. Your family is in our prayers.

  128. erma

    Deepest sympathies to Otto, you and the family.
    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  129. Shelly in Austin

    So, so sorry! Thoughts are with you and Otto and your family.

  130. Jean

    I am so so sorry for your loss. Otto (and Mir), my prayers are with you and your family.


  131. Tara

    I’m so sorry for your (collective) loss.

  132. elz

    I’m going with something I heard from our wise friend, Pam- May her memory always be a blessing. I’m so sorry for your loss and my sympathies go to you and your family. Also, what a craptacular year-things have GOT to get better.

  133. Mom2Trplts

    May the memories of her loving ways be the strength in which to heal. Thinking of you.

  134. Katie K.

    That just sucks. I am so, so sorry. Prayers on the way.

  135. Beth

    I’m so sorry. Praying for Otto and for you and the whole family…for peace and strength and comfort.

  136. Erin

    Oh my word–so very very sorry to you, Otto, the kids, and Otto’s entire family. Sending all my love and best thoughts your way.

  137. Aimee

    I already said this on FB, but I am so sorry Mir. What a &*#$@! year. And YES, it is almost over. I think 2013 owes you something pretty freaking spectacular.

  138. EG

    Oh my God. Prayers.

  139. Beth B.

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

  140. Grace

    Very sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

  141. CuriousCat

    My sympathy and condolences to Otto and your whole family. She sounds like a great mom and grandmother so keep those memories close. Thoughts & prayers to Otto and his siblings and of course to the house of Mir.


  142. Nicole

    So very sorry for your loss. You’re in my thoughts.

  143. Janine

    Oh, I am very sorry for your loss. Thinking of your family and hoping the sun shines on you all very, very soon.

  144. Anna

    Lifting you up in prayer, Mir, there’s not much more I can do, and not much more you can hold up.
    Exodus 17:12- But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat thereon. And Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

  145. Kate

    I’m so sorry. Another big loss, just when you thought you couldn’t possibly take another. Life can be so brutal.

  146. E's Mommy

    I’m so sorry. I’ll be thinking about Otto and all of you.

  147. Emma

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  148. Arnebya

    Fuck you, 2012. I hope 2013 does some horribly nasty things to you.

    Mir and Otto and family, I am so sorry. Expected or not, there’s never a true preparation for such a monumental loss. Also, after the culmination of all that 2012 has given us in 10 short months, it sure as hell better end with zombies.

  149. JennyA

    Hugs. (I originally typed “hughs” — you have all my hughs too, if that will help.)

  150. c

    So terribly sorry that your family is suffering yet another grief. And such a huge hole she will leave behind. Your family is in my thoughts, c

  151. Katie in MA

    I wish I had words to make it even a little better. Keeping you and the entire fam in my prayers. And I know it doesn’t make it even a smidge easier to think of it this way – but all I can think of is Otto’s Mom up there giving 2012 the what-for. Because mamas (and grandmas) never, ever give up.

  152. Ruth

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  153. Heidi

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you all smooches of the non-creepy variety.

  154. Laynie

    Many thoughts and prayers continuing to be sent your way. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  155. Jessica

    Oh…Mir…I am so sorry for you guys, Otto, and his entire family. You don’t have to settle for spare prayers; I’ll move your family right to the top. I can’t imagine what Otto is going through, but I am glad, glad, glad that you are there to be with him and hold him when he needs it.

  156. Deanna

    First, I am so sorry for your terrible loss. My sincerest condolences to the whole family!!! Second, 2012 is seriously being a giant effing dick to you and yours and if I could kick it’s ass for you I totally would!

  157. Susie

    Oy. Uncle is right. Have a virtual drink, on the house, and a hugs and hysteria session. No advice, just Oy.

  158. kapgaf

    No matter what our age, we are the child of the parent we lose. My heartfelt sympathy to Otto and his siblings for this painful loss and warm thoughts to all of you.
    Here’s hoping the suckiness (suckity?) of 2012 is done.

  159. joaaanna

    Oh no. I am so, so sorry for all of you.

  160. Amy-Go

    I am so sorry! And of course I will pray. 2012, you bastard, leave Mir alone!

  161. Andrea

    Honestly, sometimes God just sends someone into your life and the blessings reach beyond that one-on-one connection. You and Otto seem to have been given that gift. How wonderful you and your mother in law were family from the start.

    My condolences to the entire family and a special condolence to your husband–losing your mother can not be easy no matter the circumstance.

  162. Katherine

    Prayers for you all, and sincerest hopes that 2012 has finished all its rottenness (and perhaps all the rotten things for the next several years as well)!

  163. Mary K. in Rockport

    I think it’s time for you to climb back into bed and pull the covers over your head. Not only is denial for a while a healthy respite, it also hides you from the angry Fates who are after you all this year.

  164. not supergirl

    Ok, so this is what the Mayans meant with that whole end of the world in 2012 thing. Seriously, though, it’s just so much to bear, isn’t it. I’m so sorry for you, Otto and the whole family. I wouldn’t blame any of you one bit if you needed to skip the rest of the year.

  165. Leah

    I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and yours.

  166. g~

    2013 has a hell of a lot to make up for. So sorry for your loss.

  167. Caroline J. in MA

    I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.


  168. Zoe

    So, so sorry for your loss. It’s hard, if not impossible, to keep this kind of perspective, but I’ll say it anyway: be happy for the time you had with her, and try to hold on to the good memories when the pain becomes overwhelming.

  169. ~zandra~

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Continued thoughts to you and your family.

  170. Dave

    You have my deepest sympathy. Let me know if you need hands and feet here in town.

  171. C~

    I am so sorry about Otto’s mom. I know how you feel though. 2012 has sucked rotten eggs and monkey balls for us, too. Here’s to less of that.

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