My VIP for today is my mother-in-law. Today is her birthday, and she would have been 91 years old. We lost her about seventeen years ago to Alzheimer’s disease, but she actually passed about seven years ago. Alzheimer’s disease is a horrible disease because it steals our loved one and leaves a shell in their place.
I most likely had the most wonderful mother-in-law in the world. She was the mother of four children – two sons and two daughters, one of which she lost before birth; she also mothered a young Indian girl who lived with her for a few years. She accepted everyone with unconditional love. I loved her as a mother, and I knew that she loved me as a daughter. She was particularly tender with me at the time of my mother’s death. She knew that I loved her son, and she supported me in my role as his wife. She loved all of her grandchildren and loved to brag about them. In fact, she was proud of all her family and loved to share pictures of them.
My mother-in-law came from a large family of eight boys and three girls. All eight of her brothers served in the military; six of them served during World War II and all came home alive. It seems that there was always a problem between any two of her siblings for Mom was constantly playing peace maker in her family. At five foot nothing, she was the shortest person in her family and was known as Shorty, a name her sons were more than happy to call her when they passed her in height. She wore tiny shoes, about size 5; in fact, she often purchased shoes in the children’s department when she found some she liked.
As a young woman my husband’s mother had beautiful black hair that turned snow white when she was older. Her eyes would sparkle when she laughed, and she laughed often. Her laugh was contagious and sounded like music to her husband. She loved to tell jokes but usually got the punch line wrong; this would cause her to start laughing and then everyone laughed even harder.
My sweet mother-in-law loved to crochet and make craft items; she was always busy making something for her home or to give away as gifts. She was a great letter writer and carried on correspondence with many people. She maintained friendships in far flung places and stopped to visit with people whenever she could. She was often engaged in service to others and held many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was blessed to have her as my mother-in-law here on earth and will continue to have that blessing throughout eternity.