Was it when her son took me to his home where he lived with his parents after an early morning motorcycle ride or tennis game?
We worked nights together.
So, we would go on dates during the day.
She especially was soft spoken.
I am not soft spoken.
She followed this same advice when her son and I divorced.
We knew the orders were coming, but didn't expect them so soon.
Should we get married that day?
The photo of so long ago is cracked and faded.
We all look so young.
Our quickly planned wedding was attended by just my mother-in-law and father-in-law,
and my sister-in-law and her husband.
I wore a quickly purchased dress.
My sister-in-law did my hair.
We walked across the street and were married.
We then all went out to dinner.
I guess my mother-in-law thought I needed something to take up my time.
Not long after we were married, she delivered a basket of un-ironed, freshly washed shirts belonging to my husband to me.
I still smile at the memory.
I love that she did that.
Why should she iron them?
Now, that job was mine.
That summer, the summer of 1966 was a hot one.
The apples came from the tree in the backyard.
No doubt my mother-in-law had carefully picked a few good ones for us to eat as we talked with her late into the evening.
My sister-in-law was pregnant and craved green apples covered with salt.
She'd tell me stories about everyone on the block.
Not gossip, just good stories.
She told me stories of her life.
She was a great storyteller.
(Two of my grandchildren with their great grandparents on the front steps of their home. Parker is next to Grandma and Regan is on her lap.)
I also remember that she would sometimes go out for a walk.
She said she needed time to
"air out her brain."
I think of that statement so often when I walk and think about all I have to think about.
she'd bring gifts for the other children too.
My former mother-in-law was a wonderful grandmother.
She loved to have them visit her.
She loved to make things special for them.
Sometimes, she would take my children to the movies.
First, they would go to her house to pop corn.
Then, they would get all of her old purses from the 'dress up' play box.
Then, they'd fill the purses with popcorn to eat at the movie.
It makes me smile to even write of those days.
She'd have them over for the day to learn a craft, bake cookies, or have a picnic.
There was a closet full of toys when the kids were younger.
There was a box of old clothes for playing dress up.
Each event that involved a grandchild or grandchild was a special event where she made little sandwiches, or had a special activity planned.
She made each child feel special.
I will remember all those wonderful family gatherings I had at her home.
I will remember how we always went to Salt Lake City to shop when the men went deer hunting.
It was the big event of the year.
We called it Deer Shop.
She had started the tradition with her sister years ago.
It continues to this day, even though the guys no long go hunting.
I will remember many picnics,
river rafting trips,
I will remember a woman who blessed my life beyond measure.
My Julie could have been her clone.
They looked so much alike.
Her prominent features are features I see in each of my own children.
This photo was taken of her with my girls just before Julie died.
|Keicha, Grandma Chris, Julie, Amy
Her dry wit, her humor, her intelligence were gifts to all of us.
She could play by ear nearly instrument she picked up.
She wrote her school song many years ago.
Today, she was laid to rest.
Her funeral service was held in the exact same spot where I married her son 48 years ago.
All of my children were there.
Sadly, I could not make the trip due to other commitments.
As her dear husband remembers her,
and as others remember their dear mother, grandmother, aunt, great grandmother,
I too remember and honor her.
She was a
She blessed my life, and the lives of my children and grandchildren in countless ways.
We all will miss her greatly.