It’s Labor Day weekend and I haven’t had a day off in a long time. Am I going to get caught up on my list of projects and things to repair, reload, or mend? Nope. I’m driving to Libby Montana to be a part of my father-in-law’s second wedding. Not that this is a trivial thing. I love my father in law and I wish the best for him. The point is that I think that I am not yet fully gotten over the death of my mother in law. Everyone affectionately called her Granny. She died of small cell lung cancer last year. It’s like she’s not really gone and I don’t have to think about her still as being gone. But this marriage seems to throw it in my face and, in my mind, really seal the deal with Thanantos… and I miss her.
I consider myself incredibly lucky. Most married couples don’t realize how much a mother-in-law’s role plays into the chemistry of weather a marriage is successful or not. Most married guys don’t seem to get along with their spouses mother. And in turn, the divorce rate in this country is near fifty percent. My relationship with my in-laws was very different. When Bonnie and I was first dating, she brought me home to meet her parents. From that moment on, her mother took a shine to me. Bonnie was a bit turbulent in her youth and as a result, we would occasionally disagree. On the first disagreement, I simply thought we were not meant for each other. I wrote her off and when the weekend came around, I began to make calls to some of my old girlfriends. Then the phone rang. It was Granny. “Hey, how about you coming over for dinner this evening?” Thinking about our last encounter…”I thought she was mad at me…” The reassuring voice at the other end said, “No way, she’s over that… come on over, she’s fixed your favorite… she wants to make up” I thought about it, as my stomach began to growl, “OK, I’ll be right over in about thirty minutes.” I got there, sat down and became engrossed in a political conversation with my future in-laws. Soon, I made the realization, Bonnie was not at the table, “Hey, where’s Bonnie?” They both looked at me and then at each other and said.”Oh, she’ll be here in a bit” We continued to solve the worlds problems and discuss the shortcomings of our political leaders and about 30 minutes later, Bonnie drove up and came in. She took one look at me, scowled and said, “what’s he doing here?” and stormed off. Granny got up and followed, coaxing her to “be nice” and to “just come and sit down.” Her dad was left there alone. He was the manager for the local Budweiser distributor. He went to the kitchen and pulled out a beer and said, “here, we’re gonna probably need one.” A little later, we were feeling better, and even Bonnie and her mother had joined us in our discussion. Bonnie even seemed to be more tolerant and in a better mood. With a little coaxing, Bonnie and I eventually went on that allusive date and her dad even threw in a case of Budweiser “to go.”
Needless to say, “Granny” was always very supportive and even took my side when there was a disagreement. I can honestly say that she played a integral part in my marriage and an even greater part in Bonnie and I staying married. In the end, I didn’t realize how much I loved her until after she was gone. Now my father in law is getting re-married. I know that he is getting on with his life. Starting new. Although this is suppose to be a joyous occasion, for me, this confirmation of Granny really being gone, makes me very sad. I still miss her terribly.
It’s odd, but I’m actually looking forward to getting through this strange time and getting back to the routine of work.