Please allow me to take a moment to tell you about someone in my life who needs a little positive energy tonight. Dave’s mom (also known as my mother-in-law) is having some pretty major surgery early tomorrow morning. On her heart. Again. We all know she’s going to do well but we also know that it will be a long recovery back to the Nana we know and love.
She’s an important part of this family and the obvious origin of my daughter’s unconventional creativity and kookiness. For those of you who are surprised that I just called my mother-in-law ‘kooky,’ please know that I would have done the same if she was sitting here right next to me. And she would have been flattered.
When I first met her more than twenty years ago, I think she was seated on her bed making a human skull out of femo modeling clay … or maybe she was making modeling clay from a human skull. I can’t remember. Either way, it would have been completely commonplace in her household, where equine skeleton parts sit on the shelf next to old pictures just like they are family heirlooms. And stuffed roosters are accessorized with hats to illustrate the bird’s many different moods. (I still like his Bing Crosby fedora the best.) And tales of the baby nutria (aptly named ‘Newt’) that she raised many years ago with her three young boys can be still be heard from time to time.
She is the reason my girl is writing stories about gophers almost being eaten because they were mistaken for candy, designing wedding dresses with cherry pits sewn into them and crafting Michael Myers-esque masks out of tortillas in the school cafeteria. (No. You never heard about that last one, did you?)
We all know the expression “House guests are like fish. They both start to stink after three days.”
If that’s true, then my family reeked like a rancid, maggot-infested pile of decomposing goo (okay, that’s gross … even for me) after Hurricane Katrina. Like so many other families and friends around us, we lost our home in that storm and, after a few days spent in Houston as refugees, she opened her home to the four of us as well as to my parents and my brother. And she had absolutely no idea how long we’d be staying.
Which was only nine short months. (sputter, cough)
For almost a year, we stayed with her … enabling us to get back on our feet again and my son to finish his kindergarten year in a stable environment. She emptied her closets, moved her furniture and even, for a time, relocated herself to stay with a friend … so as to give us our own space.
Who does that?
My mother-in-law does. So, for that reason and so many others, I want to say thank you to her and let her know that we’re all pulling for her here at ODNT. Whether it be prayers, positive vibes, good karma, rain dances, voodoo rituals or other happy clicking noises, please send whatever you can in her direction tomorrow. She could really use it. And she really deserves it.
But … before I go … I promised my girl I’d share a picture of her latest creation that she put together in honor of her grandmother tonight. She swears it’s delicious.
I think I met your mom in law and bro in law thru your other bro in law with whom I worked in that laborious industry he shared with your hubby and my hubby…. Hmmm. How come my hubby is the only one still in that life-sucking industry? What a dolt! J/K! The world still does need hospitals and museums and schools, right? But wait, I digress! My story is this – I always thought the family you married into was the coolest on the planet, and even before meeting the grand dame who birthed those boys I thought she was the coolest thing since pop rocks (child of the eighties here). After meeting her and having the pleasure of spending a bit of time with her I was pretty certain that I wanted to be her when I grew up… Sincerest hopes for a speedy recovery for Nana – and hugs from afar for her three boys and you!
I am all teary eyed… What an amazing and heartwarming homage to an amazing woman! I have had the pleasure to get to know her over the years. And I haven’t heard from her lately, but have been thinking of her often. I am so glad I read your post, because that puts it into perspective a bit… Her love for her family is omnipresent, and can be felt in every word she types. I count myself lucky and honored to know her. She always puts a smile on my face whenever we “talk” (type, whatever). Please offer my positive vibes and healing thoughts to your sweet MIL. She truly is one of a kind. Good luck!
Hoping and praying it all goes well.
So she can enjoy a nuggetsicle.