Out of respect for my mother-in-law, we let her stay in Cleveland for one year after the passing of my father-in-law.
Then, we moved her to an assisted living facility near us where she lived for another four years or so. We visited her several times in Cleveland and when she moved near us, we saw her just about every week. Those last few months before her passing were hard on all of us, but especially for the three grandkids.
The final two weeks of her life she was not able to communicate at all with us. When we had her funeral, since my husband is an only child, we spent a lot of time at the funeral home. Dominic didn't really understand the funeral mass, viewing, etc. and I struggled for a way to explain it to him at the time. We decided to tell him, "Grandma is in heaven." We told him what heaven was and he seemed to understand. The week after Easter of this year, Dominic told me out of the blue, "Grandma in heaven." He said it a few mornings in a row, so I know it wasn't a one time thing. I even asked him to point to a picture of my mother-in-law that we have on our mantelpiece and he was able to point to her. I think he heard us talking about how we used to go to Cleveland for Easter or how we would have my mother-in-law visit us. My husband hasn't been allowed to give Dominic a bath any more, because one time several years ago the hubby got a bunch of soap in his eyes. Dominic has never forgotten that incident and will literally have a full blown tantrum if my husband even attempts it. A few weeks ago, after Dominic had his bath, when I was clipping his toenails, I cut one of them a little too short. It didn't bleed or anything like that, it didn't even require a Band-Aid. Every time since then, after his bath, he's told me, "cut too short." If I ask him to show me which toe it was, he will! Talk about mom guilt!! This past Saturday night, we ordered Dominic's favorite food, pizza! Whenever we have pizza, he remembers about six months ago when he ate six pieces and had a bad stomachache. He tells me, "ate too much pizza, (did something in his pants - I'll spare you the specifics), didn't like it!" Even though I don't like that his tummy hurt, I do like the fact that he remembered when he ate too much it didn't make him feel good - lesson learned!