Saturday, April 30, 2016

Two women

You know those mother-in-law jokes????

They can be a lie.

I have had not one but two wonderful mothers-in-law.

Grams was a pleasure to be with. A hard worker, no-nonsense person who never interfered. The only tension we ever had was one morning when I was living with her and waiting for my first husband, her son, to return from Germany.

She was upset to find my clothes on the front stairs. A picture of me undressing outside late at night was not welcomed, until her nose confirmed my story that while visiting my grandmother my German Shepherd Kimm, had an encounter with a skunk. By the time Kimm was deodorized my clothing was totally saturated with the smell.

When my marriage disintegrated I broke away from his family.  He needed their support. I had little contact with him either and his child visitations were thru the baby sitter.

Then when my daughter was two and in the hospital, I had to call Grams to tell my ex. Her first words to me, "You are still my daughter." From then on we continued to have visits and cheered me on both for my child raising and the way I was living my life.

Although I had no intention of remarrying I had even less expectation of finding a second wonderful mother-in-law.

I was wrong on both counts.

When my new husband and I traveled to New York from Europe on a voyage to visit each other's childhoods, her first word to me was "Bonjour" said with a twinkle in her eyes.

I discovered a woman in her 90s, warm with a great sense of humor, and totally accepting of me.

She had raised five rambunctious boys, four her own. According to stories my husband told me, she levied the right level of strictness combined with enough leniency for them to develop as individuals.
And although not a helicopter parent by any means of the word, woe to the person who hurt her offsprings if her interference was needed.

She is an artist in cloth and I am the proud owner of three of her quilts, each a treasure for their beauty and knowing that each stitch is perfect.

Geography does not allow for drop-in visits but phone calls and letter build a new relationship.

So keep your mother-in-law jokes and I will keep my mothers-in law in my heart.


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