Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Mother-In-Law

It's a modern cliche and an indisputable fact that many women struggle to get along with their mothers-in-law.

I have been blessed with quite the opposite circumstance.

My husband's mother, whose birthday is today, has brought nothing but peace, support, gentleness and tranquility into my life since the day we first met.

^ She may be all peace and gentleness as an adult, but something tells me that as a little girl, my mother-in-law knew how to stir things up. Just look at those mischievous eyes!

Over the many years that we've been family, I can think of only one time when I was even moderately perturbed with her.

* * * * *

When I was planning my wedding, my mother-in-law was gracious and agreeable to all my requests and decisions. She offered up guest list suggestions when asked, produced all the names and addresses I needed, and even agreed to loan me the tiny bride and groom figures that had stood atop her wedding cake, so that they could stand atop mine as well.

That kindness really touched my heart.

But the one thing my mother-in-law could not and would not do was decide upon the color of her dress.
"Tell me what color you want me to wear," she offered. 
I want you to wear a color that you like. Anything is fine with me. 
"But I don't want to clash with your mom. Mother of the bride should have first pick," she sidestepped. 
You won't clash. And I don't even care if you do.  
"It's your special day. I don't want to choose something you won't like," she insisted. 
Please, my dear mother-to-be, just pick a dress already!!
* * * *  

In the decades that have unwound since that day, I can say with certainty that life with my mother-in-law has been a total joy.

  • She has cooed over my babies, supported my decision to homeschool, and sent countless notes and cards of love and support to me. 
  • She has generously given gifts, and has always known my true heart's desires.
  • She has made me feel at home in her home, even when I would show up bleary-eyed and crazy from my cross-country travel with a passel of little girls, a wild red dog, and no husband in sight.
  • She has left a beautiful legacy of goodness and kindness to my daughters, her granddaughters.

I'm sorry to say that my sweet and gentle mother-in-law is now living in the shadows of dementia. I don't talk to her often but I send her notes and cards, and I think of her every day.

And I thank my lucky stars for having the best mother-in-law in the world.

In the end, she picked out a pale lavender dress for my wedding and looked absolutely beautiful. Then she danced with her husband and we all lived happily ever after. 

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