That first Saturday after John abandoned me and Goliath didn’t find me feeling terribly lucky. He left me with all the chores. Mine and his.
To be fair, he’d left us to head north and start a new job in Connecticut. I was to remain in Virginia, keep working, sell the house, take care of the psycho dog (and keep him from killing anybody with the temerity to consider buying it) clean, cook, take care of the yard, and a hundred other things that hadn’t yet registered.
John was not high on my list, and his spot on it was getting lower as the morning passed.
Until a car pulled up in front of the house just before noon, that is. Then John’s parents took the top spot on the shit list.
We were still newly married, John and I. I had to admit that Helen and Johnny were the most undemanding or in-laws, even as they started to get out of the car. They never surprised us by stopping in. Why now?
I quickly ran through my list of chores, trying to figure out which I could cut. But an Open House was scheduled for the next day. I sighed and pasted a welcome look on my face as I grabbed Goliath and opened the door, knowing I would be up all night finishing the list.
“We brought lunch!” Helen said, cheerfully, holding up a large paper bag.
“You like Chinese, don’t you?” Johnny asked.
“It’s my favorite!”
Helen pulled paper plates out of the bag, and Johnny pulled out the food that smelled delicious.
“We knew you had a lot to do, but you need to eat!”
So we did.
Then Johnny headed outside and mowed the lawn. Helen vacuumed the whole house, leaving me to the rest of my list.
Then they left.
Today I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to the best mother-in-law ever. Thoughtful, kind, funny, smart, and non-judgmental. Loving. I am one lucky woman to have her in my life all these years.