Today would be my beloved mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. I think of her just about everyday, how I loved her, and how I wish I had thought to have her move in with us instead of us leaving Vermont. It would have been hard living together though — we were both headstrong, independent, sometimes too proud women.
I hope she knew how much I loved her. I could be a real jerk in the early years of my marriage to her son, but even when Jason and I divorced, Evelyn continued to be a big part of mine and my children’s lives.
Alzheimer’s finally got her, as it did her father. It was a long goodbye, with the final send-off this past April. She used to say put her on an iceberg and let her go. Christine held ice cubes in Evelyn’s hand on a visit and said to her mother, “It’s okay, Mom. You can go. This is your iceberg.” On some level I think this reached her and she was finally able to let go. She was a beautiful woman, the best mother-in-law a girl could ever ask for and a fabulous grandmother. She adored her grandchildren and would do anything for her kids. Evelyn was there for me many times when my own mother wasn’t. She was a mother to me too, prickly as I could be. Thank you Evelyn. I will always remember you with a heart full of love and the lessons I learned from you.