My Mother-in-Law


I wrote this last month and wanted to wait to publish it.  There’s never a good time or enough said…or things that we all want to add later on…

I always thought it was unfortunate for women who didn’t get along with their mother-in-laws.  I was lucky.  My husband’s mother couldn’t have been happier to see her son get married.  In fact, when he asked me to marry him, he intended to get a preacher within three days after asking, go to the family home, and get married.  Not one for having a big wedding ceremony, that’s what he had in mind. To our surprise his mother and sister threw together a rather nice wedding within a three day period.   They called family friends, and we were stunned to find out we had guests coming to our last minute event.

We spoke almost daily.  My husband would often be perplexed at the amount of time we spent talking.  I had told him if we had been the same age in the same high school, we would have been great friends for life.  Despite our age difference, we were great friends.  I married into knowing her, but her friends from grade school kept in touch her entire life.

She loved to play bridge with her friends.  My husband often said she was so good at it that she didn’t have to think about it, but she never cared about winning.  She did it to socialize even though she was a born card player.

She always wanted a sister and never had one.  I always thought she related so well to women due to her want of a sister.  It was as though she became a sister to many.  Maybe that’s why God blessed her with a daughter who had a daughter, sons that had daughters, a great granddaughter, and a couple of grandsons who could bring more girls into the family.  Her life was inundated with females in the family.  At the same time, she loved being able to see her husband in her sons and cared so much for her grandsons that her face lit up talking about them.

Sue was a registered nurse.  She was proud of her accomplishments in the field, and I loved hearing the stories of nursing school back when she attended.  You weren’t allowed to be married.  You had to live there.  You went to church every morning.  There were no computerized mechanisms to check blood pressure or heart beats…you had to know how to do things without all the equipment out today, and she believed nurses today should still be taught the old school methods.  She roomed above a funeral home with other future nurses and said they had to be quiet when a funeral took place.  She talked about how she traded clothes with the other girls and how mad her mother became with her when she visited one day because one of her roommates walked out wearing her sweater.  It was her mother’s dream for her to become a nurse, but she ended up loving it and spoke fondly of her experiences with her nursing school comrades.

Sue was told she was the best looking girl in high school.  She was the best dressed.  She loved men, and they loved her.  One even became a doctor BECAUSE of her.  She was caught kissing another one and was told that if she wasn’t going to marry him, she shouldn’t be kissing him.

I use to tell her that she should write a book called, “The Many Loves of Sue.”  She said it would be quite a book..might have a mature rating on it.  That was her sense of humor.

She was raised in the church, singing in the choir, but she would let a curse word pass her lips and would do it in a way that could crack a person up.  Then she’d say, “How do you like that coming from an 85 year old woman?” with a grin on her face.  She told me about a time she was driving, stuck her middle finger out the window at a younger, obnoxious driver, and when the driver and his passenger saw how old she was, they broke out laughing…as did she.

It’s fortunate to have a life filled with people who care about you…a life full of people you loved and lost no matter how difficult it is to lose.


The other day, I caught myself wanting to pick up the phone to see how you were doing, but I knew you couldn’t talk to me.  Today, I got the phone call telling me you were gone.  I’m glad the suffering has ended, but I’m sad you were taken from our lives.  I look at my daughters, and I see your love of animals in their lives, a build like yours, hair like yours, and a sense of humor with a firecracker personality along with a love of being social.  They love their daddy like you loved yours, and, now, they both get to be with their father as do you.  I’ll never forget this summer…when Kylie drew a picture of Blaze and Dot for you, and you had to have it hanging perfectly to view it.  If a nurse knocked it down, you wanted it fixed to be perfectly straight and centered.  I laughed when you called a doctor, “Dr. Cutie Pie.”  His face flushed so red, but he was smiling the rest of the day.  You greeted the nurses with, “Hello, Beautiful,” and when I greeted you with that greeting, we went back and forth trying to one up each other with the compliments until someone stopped from laughing.  Most of all, I’m glad we were able to say goodbye to you…even though I still can’t seem to convince myself that it’s all real.  

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