I still remember the day my mother-in-law looked across the front seat of her car at me and uttered words that made me blink. Granted, I was only dating her son then, but still, her opinion of me mattered.
“You’re a stubborn person”
I wanted to put my hand to my chest and say, “Moi?” Instead, I found myself blinking owlishly at her, wondering where our conversation was about to go. She must have sensed my unease because she looked over at me, let out a light laugh and patted my leg.
“That’s not necessarily a bad thing, you know…”
I bit my lip and wondered if I should respond. Curiosity won out. “What makes you say that?”
“I’m well aware your family doesn’t exactly approve of your relationship. Most people find it easier to break up and start over…to try to find someone they would approve of, but not you. You know who and what you want and you won’t let anyone dictate who you do or don’t date. Not even your family. Considering how close you guys are, that’s saying something.” She shrugged. “See? Stubborn.”
That conversation has always stood out in my mind because I’ve always felt it was a trait we shared. She’s one of the most loving, accepting people I know…and a lot to live up to. This wonderful woman was riding horses and teaching aerobics classes in the fellowship room of her church into her 60’s. She’s been completely supportive and accepting of me… in fact, while we lived in Chicago, Saturday nights and Tuesday nights became our hang out time. Saturday evening was dinner with the ‘rents, followed by Mom and me watching The Pretender and Profiler together. Tuesday nights were reserved for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Hubby would either be watching college football or playing Warcraft or Diablo or sometimes he’d join us. I think he got a kick out of how close we’d become, but acceptance seemed to be a family theme…at least with me.
There are times I miss those days… Miss not living close enough where we can just jump into a car and go. This weekend has been one of those times. She’s an awesome woman with a great spirit… A sense of joy in life and adventure that she shares with her son….whose birthday is only 1 day before hers. Yes, my husband was her birthday gift to herself….well, with the help of her husband. 😉
This weekend was their birthdays….but hers was a landmark. That daring woman zip-lining in that picture above? Well, she did that a couple months before her 80th…which she celebrated yesterday.
Hubby asked me to write a poem on his behalf…honoring her…and I did my best to do it justice. No, I’m not sharing it here…it was solely for her. But, I wanted to share HER with you guys… She’s the badass I strive to become as I get older! And she gave me an awesome man (who IS accepted and loved by my family, by the way… it just took my mom time). I guess that stubbornness she accused me of paid off! 🙂
So, happy birthday to them both…with a wish for many more. (Yeah, I know…birthdays and anniversaries galore for me in September.)