Memorial Day

28 May

As a writer, I cannot help but put important events in my life down on paper. Just recently, I lost my in-laws, so I am honoring their lives here.

My mother-in-law was a lesson in being frugal. She taught me that one can get by without the frills in life and still be content. She didn’t hang on to a lot of stuff, only what she needed. What she had was used readily and appreciated. I always enjoyed how she would get a new gift and tell me how she was so happy with the product, whether it was new sheets for her bed or a timer for her eye drops. Once she realized the convenience or comfort, heartfelt thankfulness was in her tone of voice. She appreciated her flowers and nature and taught me to see beauty in a barren tree in the dead of winter. My husband looked forward to talking with her on the phone nearly every week, and I will miss sitting in the background with an ear to their conversations. She appeared to hang on his every word. Who else will care so much about what he is doing with his life?

And who didn’t love my father-in-law? He had a gifted sense of humor and always had a smile. He continued to smile right up to the end of his life. He (and his parents) taught my husband a good work ethic, and to go out and help the neighbors. He had his kids shoveling snow off walkways for those who needed it and he did his share of helping over the years, too. I can’t imagine him not being there when someone needed him, if he was able to help. The most profound thing I had ever heard him say came from a conversation he was having with my husband about a year or two ago. My father-in-law had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and he came to the conclusion that he couldn’t worry about finding the right words in conversation any more, that he had to just let it go. He told my husband that he would probably have to do the same thing at times as regards to his multiple sclerosis. During WWII, he served in the Battle of the Bulge, a well-known battle in France, where the courage and fortitude of the American Soldier was tested against great adversity.

After many years in the Wenatchee area, my in-laws moved to the Spokane Valley to help their daughter care for her family with a new disabled baby. Likewise, they looked out for their neighbors and helped an elderly woman who lived next to them for many years. We were there the day their house sold and the neighbors from literally every side of their home came over to ask about them as they’d grown to care about them so much over the years. And personally, they treated me like I was a gift from heaven for their son, which I so appreciated early on.

They were married sixty-six years and attended Church together most of those years. They passed away less than two weeks from each other. For me, their deaths give new meaning to the expression; see you on the other side. When my time comes, I look forward to hugging them again.


Posted by on May 28, 2013 in biography, Blogs, Boise, Family, Idaho, Memorial Day, values


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16 responses to “Memorial Day

  1. Judith Keim

    May 28, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    Mary, This was such a sweet tribute to your in-laws. As an in-law myself, I found it inspirational and hope to be to my daughters-in-law what they were for you!

    • maryvine

      May 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      I’m sure you will be, Judith. Thanks.

  2. marsharwest

    May 28, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Lovely, Mary. Brought tears to my eyes. You were certainly blessed by your in-laws, as I’m sure you blessed their lives, too.

    • maryvine

      May 28, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Thanks, Marsha. It was nice to write it down and will pass it on to the grandchildren.

  3. Janis McCurry

    May 28, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    How nice you can remember them forever in this way.

    • maryvine

      May 28, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      The positive is always good to remember and hold on to. Thanks, Janis.

  4. Peggy Staggs

    May 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    How very sad that you lost both of them so close together. Thank you, to your father-in-law for his service to this country.

    • maryvine

      May 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      Yes, Peggy, I think it would be hard to lose both of your parents at the same time. At least, I had 7 years between my parents.

  5. Julie Murphy

    May 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    We’d all like people like your in-laws in our lives. You are lucky

    • maryvine

      May 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Yes, I am lucky. Thanks, Julie.

  6. stephanieberget

    May 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    This is beautiful and what wonderful people. My in-laws were great and made me feel included into their family from the first. I miss them every day, but remember the happy times.

    • maryvine

      May 30, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Thanks for sharing about your in-laws, Steph.

  7. Patsy (P. L. Parker)

    May 29, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    What a great story. Made me cry.

  8. maryvine

    May 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Thanks, Patsy.

  9. Lynn Mapp

    June 1, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    Mary, they will be there to greet you! They were wonderful people. You have honored them. Well done.

    • maryvine

      June 1, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Thanks, Lynn. Very sweet words.


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