Hey You, Thanks

Soon after Husband and I married, my mother-in-law sent me a letter. Sort of a “welcome to the family” kind of letter.

In it, she admitted how she never had a particularly good relationship with her own mother-in-law. She always felt a little uncomfortable around her and never knew what to call her.

But it would not be that way between us, she wrote. And it didn’t matter to her in the least what I called her. “You can call me Roberta or Bobbi or Mom or ‘Hey You!’ if you want.”

Naturally, the letter I wrote back was addressed to “Hey You.”

And that’s how it stayed. Any letters we wrote, birthday cards we sent, gifts we gave each other. She was Hey You and I was What’s-Her-Name.

wedding family

Over this last weekend, my mother-in-law passed away. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, she’d been declining in health over the last year. The last time I saw her was in the summer and she didn’t know who I was.

I wasn’t even What’s Her Name. More like a “Who’s She?”

It didn’t bother me. Partly because I’d gone through it with my own Mom, but mostly because our relationship was above that. Even if she didn’t remember me at that moment, I knew her and remembered how she had accepted me into her family. How comfortable she made me feel.

That was the kind of person she was. She never made demands on people, insisted on her own way, was arrogant or rude. She endured all things.

And from what I know of her, she’d really hate my writing about her like this. Like, really hate it a lot. It’s embarrassing and unnecessary, she’d say.

And chances are good that if there’s WiFi in heaven, she really is reading this because she followed this blog.

So right about now she’ll be saying, “Oh Lord, why’d she have to write something like that?!” And then almost immediately she’ll smile, give that throaty chuckle of hers and say, “Oh, I don’t know…” Because she wouldn’t want me to feel bad.

Listen, I’m sorry to embarrass you so, but I wanted to write you one last letter. Okay?

Dear Hey You,

Thanks for everything. Of all the mother-in-laws in the world, you were the best.

Love always,
What’s-Her-Name

Are You Keeping Score?

The woman with the most elegant home,

Wins an all-paid vacation to the city of Rome.

And the mother who births the smartest babies,

Gets a brand-new, red, convertible Mercedes.

And the woman who chants, “I’m so busy” the most,

Gains the respect of all, on account of her boast.

So for goodness sake, I hope you’re keeping score,

Cause if there ain’t no prizes, then what’s it all for?

Stressed

A Mother’s Day Carol

Brady BunchCarol Brady was dead, to begin with. Actually, she was never alive to begin with, as she’s a fictional character. But beings how she is the epitome of a perfect mother, Carol Brady was dead as a doornail.

That doesn’t change the fact that on this Mother’s Day, Carol Brady visited C.J., late in the evening, when kids and Husband were out of the house because, let’s be honest, they knew that’s what she wanted.

CeeeJaaayyy,” Carol Brady said, in a tone most spooky and weird for a 70s sitcom mom.

“Yeah?” C.J. replied, sipping her blueberry margarita, which she made because she had some leftover blueberries she didn’t know what to do with, and she’s not sure how she feels about the margarita because, you know, blueberries.

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My Mother’s Recipes

You might remember a few weeks ago, I made the declaration that I would tame the beast that was my cookbook collection. Today we continue our journey into the mouth of the dragon. (I need to stop reading so many fantasy novels.)

WP_20160304_16_34_37_Pro[1]I dug into the pile and chose this one: Taste and See, published in 1996. It’s a church cookbook of Mother’s, from a church they only attended for a few years. I was about to toss it in the donate pile – it’s not like it meant anything to me — when I thought, no, better check it over. I might get a post out of it.

Surprisingly, there were several decent recipes in it. Not your usual church potluck fare. In fact, I was finding several recipes of interest.

Then… what to my wondering eyes should appear? I see Mother’s name!

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