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The first time I met my future mother in law, I was in tears. Not the kind of tears you can easily conceal. The kind of tears you feel deep in your gut. The kind of tears that spill from your eyes when you feel hopeless. Lost. The kind of tears you feel like you won't recover from.
It is important to note that I am not a crier. In fact, since this first encounter nearly 20 years ago, my MIL can probably count on one hand how many times she has seen me cry since.
I was 18. I'd moved out of my home and was sharing an apartment with a girlfriend not far from where my now-husband grew up. We worked together. He was my friend. I knew he had a girlfriend, but I didn't care. When I lost my job and felt like my world was crashing down around me, it was him whom I longed to see.
My 18 year old brain was convinced that he would know what to do.
I can only imagine what my MIL was thinking. She claims she loved me from that day on, but I have my doubts. Hubby's girlfriend at the time was my polar opposite. She was a great student, headed to a four year college. She still lived at home. Prime and proper. I was every parents' nightmare.
Imagine if you will a crying child smelling of cigarettes, living in her own apartment, who's heavy eye make-up rained down over her face, knocking on your door asking for your son. I know what my first reaction would be.
My MIL looked deeply saddened as she told my future hubby went to his girlfriend's for dinner. I am certain she noticed my breathe catch in my throat. It was at that moment she reached for my hand and pulled me into her and hugged me.
She hugged the stranger crying on her porch.
Twenty years later and I continue to be greatful for that simple gesture.
- I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.