What are 3 words you wish you could say to your mother in law?

Christie Decker

My husband had been married previously to our marriage. When my husband and I started dating, she told me something; “He’s not getting married again, so you can forget about that.” Bob didn’t tell his mom he was getting married to me until the night before our wedding. She was there, though, and she and my grandmother and aunt hit it off well.

When Bob asked me to marry him, his dad was suffering with dementia, and soon after, had to be placed in a facility, as he’d become quite abusive to Bob’s mom and to him…The 12th day after our wedding, he passed away.

At our simple wedding, we had a cake and punch reception. We were broke, it was all we could do, and I made our favorite cake, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Bob’s mom hated the taste of cheese, with a passion! I deliberately made our wedding cake, a 1/4 sheet cake, with approximately 1/12 of it plain, no frosting. She was so pleased she didn’t have to scrape off the cheese, and there was enough for her to have seconds. I won her heart that day.

My three words to Mary would be ‘I love you!’ I lost my mother-in-law in 2003. She was the kindest, sweetest lady you could meet, though to some, she showed tough love. In her 70’s and 80’s, she would bake chocolate chip cookies for my husband, because they were his favorite, and the very same day, make oatmeal raisin cookies just because they were my favorite. She would make yeast raised rolls for my husband, and make baking powder biscuits for me.

When my husband had what was thought to be a terminal brain tumor, at 44 years of age, surgery was scheduled for the day before Valentine’s Day. She knew I liked mugs, collected them, and bought me one with hearts on it, telling me it was a gift from my husband in case he didn’t have a chance to get me another. (at one time in my life, we had one glass for each person, and that was it, no extras for company, so after one friend gave me a mug, then another, they became special to me.) It turned out that he had a major stroke, not a brain tumor…but I still treasure that mug. She gave me her heart when I married her son. I was without a mom, my own had passed away in 1981…and she filled in beautifully.

She often slipped me cash, to make sure I didn’t go without anything we needed after my husband’s stroke. She even told me that she left her paid-for home to us (though others in charge of the will made sure that did not happen, it was conveniently missing, hasn’t been ‘found’ to this day, and though she wanted me to be her executor, I refused, she had other children, and I felt it would cause hard feelings…so we got only a tiny sum of cash, a picture she’d left to my husband and a set of china left to me when she passed.

Though a good share of the family and extended family were with her when she passed, I was the one holding her hand, telling her I loved her and singing to her as she went to her rest.

If I could only one more time, have opportunity, I would say, ‘I love you, Mary!’

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