This coming week it has been a year ago that my mother-in-law died; I wrote a little tribute for her at the time on FB; I am reposting it here. We all still miss her. Life is just a whole lot uglier without her…
For Dorothy: In Remembrance and With Gratitude
When Jon and I were looking for a home to buy
The ads talked of mother-in-law apartments
Which always happened to be rooms over the garage
Or godawful basements.
It says something about mother-in-laws in our popular culture
And how misguided that notion is, for in my case
my mom-in-law was grace and love personified
An angel that God put on earth to spread good around
With generosity and flair.
In your last week of life you and I joked
(But not really because I spoke the truth)
What a classy broad you had been
Climbing the career ladder with Pan Am
While your parents had immigrated from Norway
A rough climate where the fish comes cheap
But at times is paid for dearly.
In spite of your humble origins you exuded glamour
As a suit that was made for you.
My sweet American mother-in-law
My Doris Day.
Your cool was impressive
And your emotional IQ off the charts.
When we had dinner guests and there was one VIP asshole in the room
We did not know where to seat,
We knew we could seat him next to you
As you could make a gorilla behave
And be polite about it…and still be interested in his conversation.
You fed the homeless for Loaves and Fishes for many years
Running that dining room of the disenchanted like the pro you were
As if you were back in that Pan Am cabin, even though you were getting older
And friends of yours might be playing bridge instead
Or getting bored on cruises to the Baltic Sea.
You were the favorite grandparent in our house
And I think we shared a wicked kind of humor
Because if I dared to make you laugh with a joke
That might have gone too far
There was always that twinkle in your eye
And a flash of recognition.
And I hold onto that…
For these last few days were hell for you
Even though, until the end, you embraced me like the daughter
You never had
And I held your hand like
The hand of a mother I never had.
Rest in peace my darling and while there are no assholes in heaven
You will still make it a better place…of that I am sure.