Lucky to have this woman for my Mother-in-law

Written while riding the bus home on Friday, May 13

It was another busy day but I managed the two posts below. I’ve got a good seat on the bus which gave me the idea to try and write something for posting later as I ride on the bus to Bay Terrace. (Alan will meet me there.) It was a long day in the office – I can imagine things weren’t any less busy yesterday when I wasn’t around, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that life happens. If I must take time off from work to attend to some issues in my personal life, I will just have to accept the fact that some feathers will be ruffled and I must just live with it. No sense stressing about it – it’s a job, not the be-all and end-all of my existence.

So I came back to work this morning without much grief about the fact that people had to cover for me. It’s their job just as it is mine to cover for them when they are out. That’s the way a corporation works – it’s about people. (I’m beginning to sound like a CEO giving a pep talk.. ha! ha!)

I’m taking a different route home because I’m not heading for home. I’m actually taking the route Alan and I had taken for over a year when we were still renting out a place in a neighborhood not too far away from where we live now. Still in Bayside, Bay Terrace was our ideal community, what with a strip mall and a theatre complex right behind our one-bedroom apartment. But it was imminent that we moved to a place of our own, and while we considered staying in that community, we found ourselves purchasing a co-op in another part of Bayside.

We need to get some 4-piece boxes of Godiva chocolate to give away for my mother-in-law’s surprise birthday party tomorrow. The lady is turning 75! Wow.. to make it through three quarters of a century is indeed a milestone, and the hubby and his sister knew they had to throw a party to celebrate their mother. I did my share by preparing the invitation which I’m very proud of, and we’re putting together a CD of standards made popular by a contemporary rock star.

I had no problems pitching in because I have been fortunate to have had this lady for a mother-in-law. Quiet and very grandmotherly, she never dipped her fingers into our business, but was always generous with helping us out when we needed it. Although an educated woman, (BS Chemistry in UST and a master’s degree from no less than UPenn here in the US), she was very humble and keeping a silent presence in the sidelines. While we are not close as my mother and I are, she has made me feel like I am part of her family.

I remember when we were still living in one apartment before Alan and I found a place of our own shortly after we got married in August 2000, she took me aside several times to teach me Alan’s favorite dishes, giving me the simple suggestion that to my husband (just as it was with Alan’s dad), it was all about presentation. No matter how bland or bad the cooking was, if it looked good, they were happy with it.

When we did move to our own place, she shopped for regular household items to help us start out, considering that we had a small wedding and hence didn’t have too many presents. She gave me some of her own household stuff that she no longer needed when she moved into my sister-in-law’s house.

Like most mothers, she had given all of herself to ensuring her two children had a good start in life. She brought her two children here despite the fact that her husband preferred to live and stay in Manila. My husband is who he is today because of her sacrifices as a mother. If there is anything I can fault my mother-in-law with, it’s only that she has loved her grandson (the stepson) too much. But then again, that’s how grandparents love their wards – they said that grandparents love their grandchildren more than their children at times, so I guess that isn’t even really something to be taken against her.

So tomorrow we toast this grand lady who made it possible for me to have a loving and giving husband in the man I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with – my only wish is that she live a few more years so that she can be a part of my son’s life, too.