|Maurine and Milton Freeman with all their grandchildren |
in 1983; seven more would follow
My husband's mother has been gone for more than nine years now. She hasn't lived with us in twelve, but her presence in this house can be almost palpable. It happens most when I'm with my daughters-in-law, when we're working together, when we're laughing and chatting, or when I am sharing some skill she taught me. I want to be for them what Maurine was to me.
They say a child's earliest years are critical to their development, that a great deal of what they learn and experience at that time is indelibly etched on their characters. Perhaps it was the same way with me in the early years of my marriage. Perhaps she has imprinted a bit of herself on me. I hope so.
Maurine was my friend, my confidant, my mentor, my ally and sometimes my co-conspirator. I always knew she loved me, even when I doubted everyone else, especially myself. When we needed her—when I needed her—she was there. Always. I needed her a lot.
|Maurine and grandson Adam, October 1981|
I will never truly be able to match what Maurine was to me. My DILs are much more mature, far less needy. They are stronger, better educated, more self-reliant. They don't have the same trials. They have resources other than me. But, I can be a positive influence. I can be understanding and accepting. I can be supportive and uplifting.
I can love unconditionally, just like my MIL taught me.
—A Chaotic Mind