I’ve written about my mother many times here on my blog. I even wrote a whole post about my dad once. But I have yet to write about my other mother – my mother-in-law. Her name is Margaret.
We’ve probably all heard more than a few of those mother-in-law jokes, which are generally in no way, shape or form complimentary. Come to think of it, usually they poke fun at the wife’s mother. Seems to be some sexist element at play there.
My mother-in-law is the best mother-in-law I could ever have hoped for. She has many fine qualities, but above all she is kind, caring, giving and completely non-judgmental, with me anyway. I don’t think we have ever exchanged harsh words, or even anything close to it, in the many, many years that we’ve known each other. And it’s been a lot of years!
My mother-in-law is a wonderful conversationalist. She is more than capable of striking up and carrying on a conversation with just about anyone (even my dad) about just about anything. This is a gift which I do not posses and it’s probably the reason she’s always had a busier social life than I’ve ever had. I’ve always been a little bit envious.
Breast cancer has not left Margaret’s family alone either. Her youngest sister, Jenny, died from metastatic breast cancer about thirty years ago or so. Jenny was only in her fifties at the time of her death. Her breast cancer experience was horrendously awful and Margaret rarely speaks of it. I am going to ask her about that time in her life again sometime soon. I think such things need to be talked about from time to time.
We will not forget.
I’ve never called my mother-in-law mom or mother. I’ve always called her Margaret. This has worked fine for us. She has always been like another mother to me and even more so since my own mother’s death from metastatic breast cancer six years ago.
“You’re the only mother I have left now,” I whispered into Margaret’s ear the day of my mom’s memorial service. She gave me a great big hug, but said nothing. She didn’t need to. There were no words to fit the emotions of that moment anyway. They don’t exist.
Recently the in-law side of my family got together to celebrate Margaret’s 87th birthday. She doesn’t like to be fussed over, even on her birthday, but I’m pretty sure she had a great time. I know I did!
Do you have a special “other mother” or “other father”?