Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Luck of the Draw

Some people are very, shall we say, "unlucky," in the grab-bag of in-laws. People talk about how awful their mother-in-law, or father-in-law, or siblings-in-law are, and they wonder how the person they married could possibly have turned out normal, raised in that house with that crew, and from that gene pool.

I have been lucky. I have been far luckier than I deserved.

My mother-in-law is a lovely, kind person who welcomed me with open arms and who loved me in spite of myself. She would not have chosen me, I'm sure, but once the deed was done, nobody would ever have known. She has shown me nothing but kindness since the day I first met her.

My children are her only grandchildren, and as a grandmother she has shown herself to be even more wonderful than anyone could have dreamed a grandmother to be. She loves her grandchildren unconditionally, absolutely unconditionally.

When we needed her, she was there. She has always been there. Good times, bad times, hard times, heartbreaking times. . . she was there, and she was on our side.

She's a writer. In fact, she's a newspaper reporter, and she's a darn good one. Sometimes I think she's the only one in that whole building who knows how to spell. Her column is probably the most popular thing in the entire paper. She gets letters from all over the world, praising her writing. And, like most people who are very good at their jobs, she's unappreciated and overworked and in spite of those things, she still produces a column that's first-rate, and she's never once raised her voice to anyone in that building. One of these days I'd like to, but that's neither here nor there.

She's generous, and forgiving, and warmhearted. She's musical from the top of her head down to her toes, and beautiful melodies flow from her fingertips. For almost thirty years, I have loved to sit in her living room and listen to her play.

She's a tiny little woman, barely five feet tall, and her only son is nearly seven feet tall. When they are walking together, it's almost comical. She has a granddaughter and a niece who look very much like her, or rather, like she looked when she was their age. Her niece is so like her that people assume they are mother and daughter; they are both very short and smiling, both very loving women and it shows on their faces. Her granddaughter, my beautiful Belle, looks a lot like her, too, only Belle is tall, far taller than I am. Zappa doesn't look anything like his grandmother but he has been crazy about her from the day he was born, and vice versa.

My MIL's life has not been an easy one. I have always hoped that some day she would write a book about her life, but so far, there isn't one forthcoming. I will still hope, though, because her life has been far too interesting to not share with the world.

I love my mother-in-law, and I hope she knows it. I am not a touchie-feelie person (no comments about my college years, please) and she has always respected that. I have always known, from day one, that if ever I needed her for anything, anything at all, I had only to ask. Sometimes, she was there for me before I had a chance to ask. She just knew.

She has played the organ at the weddings of most of the people in this county.

In this little town, everybody knows her, at least by name and reputation. Both are solid gold.

I love her. What I mean to say is, I absolutely and positively love her.

Ain't no 'bad MIL' stories comin' from this corner.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:00 PM | |


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