Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm one of the lucky ones - I have a great Mother-In-Law. From the first time I met her, she was warm and accepting. Throughout the 16+ years that I've known her, she has been supportive, understanding and shown me nothing but love. Luckily, we also share more in common than just the wonderful son that she did such an amazing job raising.

Over the last few years we've shared the joy of knitting. Last year, over Thanksgiving, we took off for a couple of hours and went to the yarn store and a couple of craft stores. It was just so wonderful to share that with someone close to me.

My Mom taught me to knit, and never picked up needles again. She'll go with me, but she has as much interest in skeins of yarn as I do shopping for pants at the mall. That's the sad thing about my relationship with my mother - we don't share any interests. None. My mother has a bit of a narcissistic streak too. She can take me from Zero to screaming in 3 sentences or less.

In less than a week, it will be 6 years since my Dad passed away. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. My Grandfather-In-Law passed away 5 months after Dad. My MIL and I have been dealing with similar issues relating to our now widowed mothers. There's another thing - our mother's are nearly the same age. Mine is 3 years younger. Dad was a couple of years older than Grandpa. Both served in WWII - Dad in the South Pacific with the English Navy and Grandpa in France with the Army. Though their backgrounds set them far apart, they got along quite well.

I came to my parents much later than most for that time. I remember a store clerk asking Dad if I was his granddaughter. He pretty much took it in stride and told me later that's the price he paid for not getting married until he was 40. Of course, it didn't help that it took 5 tries and almost complete bed rest so that I could make my entry into the world. My MIL was 20 when she had my husband. I have cousins that are older than her! Even my youngest aunt, my Mom's baby sister, is 4-5 years older than her. To me, she's always been "too young" to be a mother-in-law.

So why bring this up under "favorites"?

Maybe because right now I understand what she's going through. Her mom's not doing well and it brings back to mind what I was going through those last few months of Dad's life. I know the helplessness, the frustration, and wanting to ease their suffering. The basic inability to be able to do a damn thing about it.

Maybe it's the fact that after so many years I finally accepted her as "mom". Not a replacement to what I have, but to fill the empty spaces in my life that I would have liked to have shared with my mother.

Maybe it's because she an inspiration to me in many ways. Her strength and optimism is there when you need it. She always seems to know just what to say to give you a new or different perspective. She listens without comment or criticism.

Maybe it's just because we share some of our favorite things together. She reads this blog with regularity. And since I'm sitting at work and can't call her, at least she'll know that I was thinking about her.

I love you, Mom. It's times like these I wish we were just a few hours away.

No comments: