Sweet Surprises

My mother in law called this morning out of the blue. And the minute I saw the name on the caller ID I got worried, because she hardly ever calls out of the blue unless something is wrong. So when I answered the phone, I’m sure I sounded harried and tinny (oh who am I kidding, I always sound like that). Turns out everything is fine (thank goodness!) and she was just calling to tell me she put something in FedEx today, so I should be on the lookout for it.

I hadn’t had a chance to tell her about The Girl’s latest bout with pneumonia, so we caught up on that. And talked a bit about what we were going to do with this girl who I just can’t seem to keep healthy. And then she brought up my birthday (which is Monday) and told me that what she had put in that envelope was to be used exclusively for me. Not for the children. Not for bills. Not for the house. Only me. She was so completely sweet about it, that I was just about in tears by the end of the phone call.

Whenever I do talk to my mother in law, I always try to down play how hard something is or the toll it has taken because she is without a doubt one of the strongest women I have ever known. Her house is always clean. She always remembers birthdays and anniversaries and everything else that always seems to slip my mind. She’s always on top of all the things that I can’t quite seem to get nailed down. So I try hard to be that person too, even if only apologizing profusely for not sending a card for a birthday (which happens almost every year).

It’s been entirely too long since we’ve seen her and my father in law. I miss them. And I hope they know that. I hope they know that the only thing that’s kept us away is silly money. And that if we could get around that, we’d be there with bells on to ride on the tractors and relish in the magnolias’ glorious bloom.

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