Let me tell you a little bit about my mother-in-law. She’s a wonderful woman. She’s very giving, loving, and caring. She raised four good children and all four of them still live very close to her. By very close I mean that she has a daughter right next door and another daughter and son down the road. My husband and I live the furthest away and that’s about two miles. You could walk into any room in her house at any time and it is spotless. And this is a woman who is a collector and hates to throw anything away! I love my mother-in-law even though sometimes she drives me crazy. She has done some things that, although she thought she was helping, really made some situations worse. It has, at times, put a strain on some relationships that she has. She is an eternal pessimist. It’s been
impossible very difficult to let some things she says go over my head. I’m sensitive and take everything personally. Maybe it’s just because I’ve always wanted her to accept me and I (after 27 years) still don’t know if she has. But still, I love her because she raised an amazing son who became my husband. After I recovered from my pneumonia last year, I sent thank you cards to some family and friends who had made meals for my family. She made chicken noodle soup and when I wrote my thank you, I thanked her for being such a wonderful mother that I didn’t know what I would have done without Jim to take care of me after I came home from the hospital. I hope it meant something to her. I should have done it years ago.
My father-in-law passed away almost six years ago. I loved him like a father. I saw him a lot as he still came here to work (with Jim or on his own projects) every day, even after he “retired”. He was like a kid. He was a man of few words (which he passed on to his son and grandson), but before Jim and I were married he told me that he was happy that he was finally getting a granddaughter (I had been married before and had a daughter) since he already had four grandsons. That made me feel as if it was his way of telling us that he was happy that we were joining the family. Jamie was always his only granddaughter (till the greats started coming along). There were three more grandsons born in the family. Six of his seven grandsons are Eagle Scouts (the seventh will be soon!) and his only granddaughter is a Gold Award Girl Scout! There were three grandsons that were closer to him than the rest. They were more like him. Our son was one of them. They were best friends. Some of Jon’s favorite memories are those spent with his grandfather.
We all call them Ma and Pa – their sons and daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in law, all the grandchildren and great grandchildren and quite a few family friends.
My mother-in-law called this morning. Nothing wrong with that…except that it was 7:15am and she is not a morning person. Don’t get me wrong – she is the least lazy person. Ever. Honestly. She will be 81 soon and still keeps her house spotlessly clean and does most of the yardwork. She still mows most of her lawn with a riding mower. She has to keep busy, without that she would not live. She just does not like to be up early. She does, however, stay up half the night and gets up later in the morning. So, when I saw that it was her number calling, I panicked. As it turns out, (her brother-in-law passed away on Monday) she has been awake since 5am worrying about how she will get to the funeral home for visitation. She doesn’t drive far anymore and is going to the funeral tomorrow with one of the daughters and her husband, but she didn’t get to go to the funeral home with them last night. Are we going today (?), she wonders. Yes, I assure her, not to worry as we are going today and she can go with us. Jim had a meeting last night, so we decided to go today. She could relax now…a little.
I think my heart was racing for a good twenty minutes after I hung up!