I have been married twice ~ hence two MILs. At 18 I made some poor choices and ended up getting married to someone who, perhaps was not my best match. Steven and I started 'dating' at 16. The year was 1964 the month was May. Soon after his mother left his abusive father and I was caught up in the drama of the situation.
I loved Pat Johnson-Green-D'Assisi-Jenkins from the first moment I met her. She was funny, smart, vulnerable, and truly a product of her generation. She was born in 1926. Her mother died on Easter, the year she was nine. Her grand-father adopted her because her parents were divorced and her bio-dad didn't want her. So her grand-father became her father and her uncle her brother.
After she left Steven's father, Lori, (real name Larry but her son was also Larry so she called her husband Lori) she eventually met a very sweet man, Arch Jenkins, and they married in November 1965.
Steven and I married the following November. That is another blog altogether.
Steven and I had a daughter, Valera, so Pat and I stayed in touch, kind of. She and Arch had retired to Hawaii for about 10 years and my ex and I had remarried and were busy with our own families.
In the 90s Pat and Arch returned to the mainland, first to the Seattle area to be closer to her other son, Larry. That didn't work out and they moved back to Spokane where they were both from, Pat born there and Arch moved there after WWII.
I was in Spokane for the funeral of my brother-in-law who died at 53. My presents husbands family did not like me and at one point were so mean I called my other MIL and she was so nice and had my family and me over and treated my husband and children like they were their own.
A decade long love affair followed. Arch, a true sport's fan, followed Anne-Elissa's track career from high school to college. He was finally able to see her run at a college track meet in Spokane. Unfortunately he was suffering from Alzheimer's by then and kept calling her future husband, Chris, Charlie.
In 2000 we had to place Arch in a care home. It was summer and I was able to take two weeks to help with the transition. He died in March 2001. The same day my bio-dad died in 1973. Is anything random?
Pat was able to live alone in her beloved condo until the age of 85 when she started to fall and not be able to get up. Most her family was dead (my ex died before 60 of lung cancer, he was the Spokane brother) and all her friends were also aging. So her son decided to move her to an assisted living home near his condo in Redmond, WA. Only problem is, as I see it, he and his new girlfriend live in AZ from November to April.
Al and I went to visit this summer. She is well cared for but not happy. I am so sad that I don't see her more often. I want to start sending her cards and photos because she is not connected, having no computer, cell phone, not to mention i anything.
Thank-you, Sandi for the lovely post about family. Pat is the only person in my life of the generation. Next up ~ US!!
I think a lot about being the next generation to 'go'.