Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Memories of a Mother-in-law

My mother-in-law's birthday would have been the other day.  This is her third birthday since her untimely passing in a one car accident.  My wife and children acutely feel her loss on days like that, and so do I.  So I have been thinkin my favorite memories of my mother-in-law.  There are many, and it impossible to choose, but I have tried to do so. 

1.  The Christmas Wrapping Paper Nazi.  Yes that is what she was.  I have to admit I never put any thought into wrapping paper until I got married.  Yes, I did look for paper that had a Santa or Rudolf, maybe some bells or something like that on them.  I wasn't so far gone as not to do that but that was as far as it went for me.  She, however, took wrapping paper serious.  She would never have settled for low rent wrapping paper.  And it wasn't just the paper either.  A family member would not adequately understand how much she loved them without a complicated bow or decoration.  And no cheapo dollar store bows either!  Then there was the problem of making sure a box to be wrapped was properly taped.  Now for me, a box taped in couple of place would have been sufficient.  The Christmas Wrapping Paper Nazi would not settle for that though.  A box needed to be taped shut in several places on each side of the box.  There was no room for error when it came to wrapping presents.

2.  The Cookie Monster.  Somehow, during the early days of our marriage, my mother-in-law became aware of a preference of mine for shortbread cookies.  Hardly a Christmas went by when I didn't receive a box or sometimes two boxes of shortbread cookies for Christmas.   My young children also grew to look forward to Christmas and the shortbread cookies that they would have there.  She was definitely a monster when it came to the shortbread cookies.

3.  Dang Yankees and the Southern Boys.  It sounds like the battle of the Bands but it's not.  I remember the first time I went to Thanksgiving with my wife's parents the year before we got married.  Thanksgiving with my wife's Yankee family was a shock.  In the intervening years, my mother-in-law made it her business to incorporate the thanksgiving traditions her two southern son-in-laws would be familiar with into a hybrid thanksgiving celebration complete with the sweet tea of the deep south and mashed potatoes made the southern way.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter(She passed the day before Easter) have been difficult times these last few years.  My most precious memories of her are during those times though.  She was a woman with a great capacity for compassion, generosity, and she lived a life passionately following the path of Jesus.


  1. Good stuff, Cousin. And I'm thrilled to find you blogging.
    If I were to do a similar piece on my Mom her two alter-egos would be Hand Washing Nazi and The Go To The Bathroom Before We Leave Lady.
    Love ya, Man

  2. Chris, Thanks for the personal insight into your world. I knew Mrs. Wolgin (Mezzie) thru my mom. She was a very interesting lady... my mom and I miss and think of her often. She was taken WAY too early. I'm hoping it was so she can look over all of her lovely Grandchildren!!
    Peace and love,