Sunday, June 28, 2009
LOVING YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW
I was skimming through the Chicago Tribune today--scanning and opting not to read all the info/tributes to Michael Jackson--and read a bit of a column by Eric Zorn and Mary Smich. What caught my eye was Eric Zorn's reference to his "beloved mother-in-law." Wow! Not the descriptive usually attributed to mothers-in-law.
For a brief time I reflected on my mother-in-law status, as I am one, twice. I know they like me, but I can't quite grasp that they would refer to me as beloved. Then, I started thinking about how I would need to be over the next unknown number of years of my life to actually have someone refer to me in death or in life as a beloved mother-in-law. It's humbling.
Later I reflected a bit more and this time thought about my own mother-in-law, who has been a wonderful mother and grandmother and has taught me much during the 43+ years we have been connected with each other. She is a fantastic cook and a gregarious, people-loving individual. Her greatest joy has always been to cook for others and then to bask in their appreciation and satisfaction. Her pies are legendary, and no one can whip up a batch of homemade noodles or yeast rolls faster than she. She has easily cooked for crowds, and now at the age of 81 years still oversees the fellowship hour and funeral foods for her small church--willingly cooking more than her share if she perceives a shortage.
She is an avid sports fan, and drove 3 hours to attend many, many of our two kids events--always calling with interest to find out the score if she wasn't able to attend. She follows the Cubs, the Bears, and all the University of Illinois teams. And, she keeps track of all of CA's soccer teams even though she doesn't know a one of the players.
For me her cooking is an inspiration. From the first days of our engagement, I received wonderful recipes from her and after a time was able to share mine with her. She loves trying new things, and shows off on a regular basis for her bridge club.
Oh yes, she plays bridge 3 - 5 times a week, and for many years she golfed. She is a vital part of her retirement community and acts as driver most of the time.
These days she delights in hearing about and visiting her great grandchildren, even if it means flying to Omaha and Central Europe. She calls her grandchildren regularly, and surprises them a couple of times a year with a generous check.
Yep! She is beloved, and I don't want to take her for granted.