Today is the date my mother-in-law was born back in 1921. I named this blog "MIL" because apparently in this digital age of "texting short hand", that's the term for "mother-in-law". Sometimes I need to stop and figure these texting terms out because they're new to me, but this one I've got!
When I think about my parents, and my in-laws, I always think about the war. Of course that refers to WWII, which was always referred to by them as "the war" as though there was no other. It was the defining event of their generation, just as the unrest of the 1960s, the civil rights movement and Viet Nam, were of mine. I always watch any documentary or movie that highlights the 1940s with them in mind, knowing that those were their formative years as young adults, in the teens and twenties, watching the chaos in the world around them. Just like the '60s are impossible to imagine by my children, I'm sure the 40s are for me. But I try. Because I know those war years are what made my children's grandparents the people they were, for better or worse.
My mother-in-law was a practical, kind, spiritual, loving woman who raised her children with her heart and soul. She loved her family and she embraced strangers and friends alike. In her later years, when Alzheimer set in, she even brought strangers home with her for tea. She was easy to love.
Today, knowing the things I've learned this past year about her family and her life - things I had no clue about before - I respect her even more than I did before. Because now I know she had her struggles, her pain, and her sadness. But she never let those things effect the way she treated any of the people she loved. And that's an example I want to follow. Thanks Dot. Between you and my own mother, I have a very high bar to reach. But I shall continue to try.