Saturday, December 18, 2010

To My Mother in Law

Dear Margie...

Your son has been my husband for fifteen years. Every year with him gets better. He is such a special, unselfish, giving man. I couldn't have designed him better if I had had the opportunity to do so.

I've heard the stories of his growing up years without his birth father. I know how he fought the idea of having a stepdad, but eventually accepted Jake,loving and respecting him as family and friend. I've heard his fears of feeling as if he's not doing a good enough job of being a father. He's an amazing and accepting step-father, offering advice, but never preaching. I've dried his tears as he remembers his grandparents with such immense love that it spills out through his eyes. I've watched him take on the role of grandfather with the birth of each of my grandchildren. He couldn't be more loving with any of them, even if they were his own blood.

Yes, yes, I know that he isn't perfect. You told me in one of our earlies conversations that he had a huge temper. Yes, he does, but fortunately, he has a long fuse. His patience level is high, and it takes a lot to bring him to his loss of it. I've seen it only three times that I can think of....not a bad percentage for as many years as I've known him.

Thank you for giving birth to this guy on this day, so many years ago. Thank you for all that he learned from you, and for exposing him to the examples your brother gave him, for those of your father, and for Jake's, as he grew up. All of those examples and experiences have caused him to be who he is. It isn't easy to rear children who will grow into great adults, but you did it, and you deserve to be recognized.

I'm forever grateful.

With love, Kathleen

Last Night...

We had a Christmas party to attend last night, the third one so far this year. I really enjoy that one, but, unfortunately I needed to stay at home. I've had a few days of nausea which came and went throughout the week. My husband had the same ailment last weekend. Nothing much came of it, other than discomfort, but I wasn't feeling up to going into a crowd for dinner, both for their sakes and my own.

I truly enjoy these 'at home' gatherings. They are intimate and quiter than going to a restaurant, and so much more personal. It's fun to see the decorating in the homes of our hosts, and I pay special attention in order to get new ideas for our own celebrations in another year.

While my husband attended the party last night, with my Mom as his date, I laid on the couch at home. I thought about how lucky I am to have such a man as my husband. He might rather have stayed at home,too, but he knows how Mom enjoys going to the special events. He put his desires on the shelf, and took his place as her escort. He is so attentive to my mother, who has trouble seeing things and is a bit unsteady on her feet at times. I envisioned them at the dinnerline, as he told her what each dish was, and portioned it out on her plate for her. Then he guided her to the table, sitting at her left so she could hear him with her 'good' ear.
I know he did those things, because I've seen him do it in other situations. He's such a special son in law that people in church, when they first met us, asked if Mom was my mother or his. They make statements, still, such as 'he's so GOOD with her."

They made it an early night, and after seeing that Mom was safely inside her little house across the street, he brought a little of the party home to me....a number of messages to 'feel better' and a plate, heavy-laden with food.

I may have missed a great holiday celebration, but I celebrate the gift of this man as my husband. I am truly blessed to have him!