November 7, 2010

The Other Mother

In memory of Lib~ 11-10-1920 to 3-30-2011

1963-r.Lib, my MIL
Gramma is turning 90 years old this Wednesday.  She is the first to say, "Now, that's old!"  Lots of family gathered at the Home to celebrate and honor her.  Born in 1920, she was one of 12 children, grew up in a mill town, and married the man who took one look at her and declared his intention to sweep her off her feet.  She birthed twin boys, one daughter, and another baby boy. (Papallama)  She managed a household, and had the bulk of raising the children while her husband worked hard on the railroad.  She stretched a dollar and sewed many of her own clothes, as well as clothes for the children.  She went to church and was a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, neighbor,and friend.
Lib at 60 right before our first child was born.

When I married her baby boy, she welcomed me into the family with open arms.  The first Christmas after we were married, I cross stitched a picture for her that said, "A mother holds her child's hand for a while, his heart forever."  That is so true.  My husband loves her dearly.  So do I.  A mother-in-law can be a formidable opponent.  She knows her son better than anyone until the new wife comes along.  But Lib was a wonderful mother-in-law.  She shared the recipes that her son loved, like caramel icing, her special turkey dressing, and a chicken dish that will make everything all better! She made me feel like I was smart and talented, and never once put me down. 

She wore the title "Gramma" proudly.
Her support was always there, from the piano recitals to the graduations, and even the youngest granddaughter's wedding. She was my confidant on many occasions, and I was honored to be hers in return.  We had a trust that neither of us betrayed.  Was it always perfect?  No, families aren't perfect.  She was allergic to scents and I had to hide all the scented soaps and candles until I gave up even buying them.  She was kinda bossy, but if you had been part of our crew, you would have appreciated that someone was in charge, and that it was her. Oh, yes, I feel blessed in the mother-in-law department.
In happier days with her husband and children

But now she is 90.  She has lost a son, a husband, and says, "It's a lonely life."  Each day, she leaves us just a little more.  On this birthday, I celebrate the 90 years that have passed rather than the one that lies ahead, and I do it with a grateful heart for a woman I proudly call  my 'other mother'.

Four generations
2 Wallaces and 2 Elizabeths

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Grandma! What a wonderful blessing to have such a fabulous MIL in your life.