To My Mother-in-law

Today, February 3rd, would have been my Mother-in-law’s 93rd birthday.  She, like my own mother, left us much too early many years ago now.

I have heard many mother-in-law jokes and disparaging comments over the years, but I must admit none applied to my mother-in-law.  She was kind, considerate, funny, fun to be with, a wonderful mother, and best of all, she liked and appreciated me, her only daughter-in-law.

I had a lot in common with her; we were both raised in large families by parents struggling to make ends meet financially.  Although she was raised in the great depression and I was not, we both grew up at the bottom of the pecking order amongst siblings, (I was second last of six, she was last of seven) fiercely independent, earning our way in the world.  Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with breast cancer the year I married her son and died twelve years later, shortly before her 75th birthday.

My mother-in-law had a great relationship with her only son, my husband.  She taught him to be respectful of women,  frugal yet generous with his money, appreciative of nature, kind to animals and loyal to his loved ones.  She would be so proud of the husband and father he has become.

My two oldest sons, her only grandchildren,  were the lights of her life, only six and four years old when she died.  They barely remember her now, but my husband and I have many fond memories of her enjoying the greatest gift we ever gave her.   My heart aches knowing she was unable to watch them grow up and share all of their athletic and scholastic accomplishments.  I know she would be so proud of the men that they, and the younger brother she never got to meet, have become.

If any of our sons had been girls, they would have been named Isabella after their Nana, my esteemed mother-in-law.