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the mother-in-law lottery

purse_pinkIn the game of life, sometimes you win, sometimes not so much. When it comes to mothers-in-law, though, I have to say that I’ve most certainly won the lottery.

In my mind, B.’s mom should be a shoo-in for the Mother-in-Law Hall of Fame (the good kind of fame). At just about five feet tall, this woman is a spitfire — a ball of energy who won’t let anything stop her (including her brand-new knee), and who won’t take “no” for an answer (okay, that one can get a little tricky). She’s also a loving mama bear who will protect her cubs (and cubs-in-law) at all costs, and an Aries (like me) who doesn’t quite understand why everyone doesn’t do exactly as she wishes (but in a good way).

What makes my mother-in-law stand out in my eyes is her strength. She has dealt with widowhood, cancer, and family hardships with the kind of resolve heretofore seen in legendary warriors. She actually makes you believe that you can do it — whatever “it” is. And she’s raised a helluva son.

Do we sometimes butt our rams’ heads over who knows B. better? Of course. She wouldn’t be a mother-in-law if there wasn’t some amount of tug of war.

I love her dearly — for who she is, for the hugs she gives, and for her amazing laugh.

spaghetti_and_meatballs-849She also makes great turkey meatballs (and I’m not just saying that because she’s reading this).

© 2012 Claudia Grossman

3 comments on “the mother-in-law lottery

  1. Ah. Nice words. Could not help but reflect myself about my own mom as I read this passage today There is a wonderful WWII plane known as the “Spitfire” that played a pivotal part of the war in Europe. I think that plane describes my moms life.

    My mom parallels your mom-in-law. She too as your mom-in-law, broke many barriers in her day. In her professional life, she was one of the first young women to hold down a prestigious job at a local bank. In those early days in the 1950’s, it was rather unusual for a Latina women to work in banking. Funny thing is she stayed in that industry n same bank for over 40 years. She managed a house, worked as an equal partner to her husband, raised two kids, watching them develop their careers as well as contributed in spirit, financial support, encouragement n played their cheerleader to the finish of both kids completing n earning their doctorates. And she somehow managed to volunteer actively for over 8+ years in youth baseball, serving as treasurer not only for the woman’s auxiliary, but also served on the men’s board as treasurer, easily cleaning up after a scandal by the earlier men’s board treasurer. She built new policy n procedures so that proper controls existed n she managed to keep these organizations with monies present to get the kids all the equipment n supplies they needed.

    She’s journeyed many miles creating her life. She travelled through a very dark period as my dad lost his battle to cancer, taking over as the matriarch–a role she did not ever really see herself taking. Strong n powerful–and next Thursday mom celebrates her 80th year of life. My mom challenged us to be self-made thinkers. And that’s because she models that herself. I think the best parts of her–including a bit of stubbornness, conjecture and her motherly opinion often enough, is worth it’s weight in gold. She will tell you how she sees thinks n probably can back her words with a life story.

    So we need to celebrate these moms n moms-in-laws. They are pillars of strength and trust me a huge rock that I find myself steadying myself against even today as my life weaves a most challenging time of transition. Where she gets all this spunk–one can only imagine–and its definitely worth an award–the Spitfire Award!

  2. She sounds like a remarkable woman, Linda — happy birthday to her!

  3. As I sit here and read this I have tears in my eyes. What a wonderful tribute from a wonderful daughter-in-law. Since I had a mother-in-law which I did not think too much ofr, I vowed this would not happen to you. Much love from me. D

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