Well, let's just say there are about sixty-eleven things you could've said besides that!

Sometimes I think my parents should have named me Pollyanna.  I know that being optimistic about other people’s intentions can blow up in your face.  But I really believe that there is no reason to think that other people are any different than me.  We make the same mistakes, want the same basic things out of life, and hold the same expectations of everyone else.  This is why I have trouble understanding the whole mother-in-law stereotype.  Who decided that most mothers-in-law are meddling, judgmental and nasty?  That hasn’t been my experience, and I’ve had TWO of them!  While my first mother-in-law is an amazing person and worthy of a blog post of her own, I’d like to share with you a little about the woman who made Hubby who he is. 
Our bittersweet last visit with Mom 2006

The late Natalie Young was a million times more of a Pollyanna than I am.  She always chose to see the good in people.  I say “chose to” because she wasn’t naïve; she knew a bad egg when she met one, but she was not a judgmental person and her upbeat mood was contagious.  I remember the first time I met her; she and her husband had just gotten back from a Mediterranean cruise and I was nervous about meeting them both.  I should point out that Hubby is such an amazing man that I have always struggled with feeling unworthy of sharing my life with him.  (I know, it’s stupid… he tells me so)  But especially when we were dating, I had a bit of an inferiority complex and felt sure that his mother would agree with me that her son was too good for the likes of me! 

Instead, I walked into a home where these two happy, laughing retired people hugged me like I was a long-lost loved one.  She gave me a scarf that she had bought in Greece.  I don’t wear scarves, but that particular scarf has hung in a prominent place in our bedroom for eight and a half years.  Especially now that she’s gone, it reminds me every day of how blessed I was to have such a great lady in my life. 

Hubby and I were both married before but I was welcomed into the family so quickly, it almost felt like they had always been my family.  Even more important, Mom opened her arms and her heart to my eleven-year-old daughter.  Shortly after we were married, my daughter even asked to change her last name to Hubby’s, because she was so loved by the family that she wanted to share their name, too.  I remember Mom introducing her to people as her “newest granddaughter”, which always got funny looks since a new grandchild is typically a baby. 

Shortly after we got married, I lost my job.  Mom said, “Great, now we can have some girl-time, to get to know each other better.”  And we did.  The woman had a way of making you feel like you were pretty darn awesome yourself!  She always laughed at my jokes and smart remarks like I was the funniest person she had ever met.  And I bet if you ask others who knew her, she probably made them feel the same way. 

When we learned that Mom had terminal cancer, it was like being smacked in the face with a brick and then immediately hit by a speeding bus.  They had moved to Florida a few years earlier and we went to spend some time with them.  Even miserably sick and with the knowledge that she was dying, her mood didn’t drop.  She joked, laughed, and lifted everyone else’s spirits just like she always had.  We shared some amazing conversation that I won’t go into, because it was between her and me, but once again she had made me feel like maybe if I was just a fraction of the person she saw me as, then I was pretty okay. 

The day we had to leave for home was one of the hardest, most painful days in my life.  We knew we wouldn’t be seeing her again and that hurt more than I could have imagined.  Hubby stayed pretty calm; especially considering the fact that the man knows he has the most amazing mother ever.  The kids tried to just get through the good-byes.  I was a blubbering idiot who Hubby had to practically push out the door.  She was gone a couple weeks later. 

I had an amazing mother-in-law who taught her sons to be good men, good husbands, and good fathers.  I missed out on being able to know Hubby’s dad, he passed away before we’d ever met, but another good man came along and treated that woman like the precious gift she was.  We all miss that gift terribly but are grateful for having been blessed with her in our lives!