Be a Memory Maker

While driving home from Winn Dixie the other day, a familiar old song niggled my brain and I couldn’t hold it in. In the passenger seat, hubby joined in and we sang it to the end. Hubs smiled and said, “Did I harmonate good with you?”

I had to laugh. Jim has a gift for butchering the English language by slightly altering or making up totally new words on the fly. But, this gift—if you could call it that—didn’t develop by accident. Nope. It was passed down in his genes from his mother.

My mother-in-law passed away over twenty years ago, yet I think of her often, especially on her birthday, which would have been today. She was a special lady, and sometimes the sweet memories of her becomes a nostalgic lump in my throat, making it hard to swallow. Tears brim my eyes, and I’ll admit to sometimes letting them fall unashamedly. Love does that, and when you think about it, it’s a beautiful thing.

Speaking of the linguistic gift… Most people pour oil into their car’s engine. Not my mother-in-law. She used earl. Remember way back when we used to buy film for our cameras? Mom bought fill-um for hers. Oh, and here’s some sage advice from my MIL:  don’t ever put a plastic bag over your head. Know why? You’ll smothercate!

Little things etched themselves deep in my heart. When my first child was born, my mother-in-law held him close, her eyes misting, and said, “Thank you for giving me a grandson.” It was a sweet and tender moment between us.

Mom had a little problem with her weight, but kept a candy stash in her dresser drawer, away from my father-in-law’s watchful eye. She shared her secret with my daughter and they would sneak a private snack together with shushes and giggles.

My little girl loved miniature tea sets, and Mom made it a point to present her with gifts to add to her collection. Ever thoughtful, she seemed to know exactly how to make a child smile.

Most of all, I’ll remember my mother-in-law’s hearty, infectious laugh forever. She threw back her head and laughed with her whole being. I loved it. Once, she and my father-in-law came to visit when my youngest son, Jesse, was about four years old. My dad was present also. We were standing outside talking when Jesse looked up and said, “How ‘bout that. Two grandpas and a lady grandpa.” My mother-in-law had a good, long belly-laugh that set off a chain reaction. Good times.

I hope when I’m long gone my memory will be the lump in my loved ones’ throats. That I will have made a difference and my presence will be missed.

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