A 53 years old memory still hurts.

Yesterday morning, I remembered that my mother-in-law died 53 years ago, 2nd December, 1964 aged 48. I had known my 18 years old boyfriend (who later became my husband) for only a matter of weeks when he told me his mum was dying of cancer. His died had died 10 years earlier. He had told her about me and so she had asked to meet me so just days before she died we visited her in an hospice. When I thought about it yesterday, I just burst into tears because it brought back so many memories of when we were young and just getting to know each other, the funny thing is I didn’t think it was strange meeting the mum of a boy I had known for such a short time because I knew that Peter was the one for me from the minute I set eyes on him and he felt the same way too. I wasn’t crying for the mother-in-law I never got to know, I was crying because the only words she said to me was ‘if I had not been ill he would not be with you.’ Those words have stayed with me until this day, Peter never knew about it as he had gone to get her some water for the flowers we had taken her and until the day he died three years ago, he never knew what his mum had said to me. We were married 47 wonderful years, together for 50 and had two gorgeous sons, and three grandchildren. I was thinking of what she had missed out on and how wrong she was about me. Why I am writing this is because you think that you are managing to live day by day since losing your husband, then a memory from many, many years ago comes and smacks you in the face and makes you remember things you thought you had forgotten. I am glad I never told my husband what she said, it would have broken his heart to know his mum could have been so cruel to me knowing she was dying. Sheila

Hi Sheila your right about the memories they hit you like a cricket bat when you least expect them. I can imagine what Peter’s mum said was hurtful for you but well done for not getting into a “war” with her and for not telling Peter that make you a better person. My mum in law loved me from the word go and called me her daughter in law before we even got married, she said I was good for her son. Sometimes if Brett and I had a disagreement and he was telling his mum she would say to him what have you done to cause the problem he would laugh and say your my mum stop taking Marilyn’s side, but he loved that me and her got on well. It makes all the difference, I know not everyone has that. This morning has been a bad morning for me, don’t know why just an assortment of memories. I keep thinking “this time four years ago” I think the anniversary on the 18th looming is the cause and the fact that it’s a grey miserable day. But we plod on don’t we got a busy week next week so hopefully I can pick myself out of this mood. You take care love Marilyn x

Thank you Marilyn, I could not get into an argument with her as she was dying and only lived two days after she said those words to me. I think it was because now I have lost Peter and all of my family of the past, it hit me yesterday and brought back those memories and made me cry. She never got to know me and I still cannot understand why after meeting me for the very first time she took a dislike to me, I would have thought she would have been happy for him that he had met someone who would love him and be there for him. For someone so seriously ill to say something like that to me makes me wonder what kind of a mother-in-law she would have been anyway, she summoned up all her strength, even though she was dying, to tell me I was more or less not good enough for her son and it hurt. My daughter-in-law thinks the world of me and me of her, her friends have told her she is very lucky to have a mother in law like me as their mother in laws interfere a lot, even our two ex daughters-in-law are always ringing me up even though they have new lives of their own. I think it was just the memory that came into my head that made me sad, I have been missing Peter a lot this week, I think it is the Christmas decorations and music in the stores that are unsettling me, like it is for all of us on this forum, we just have to get through it the best way we can. Speak soon. Sheilaxx

Lonely I read your post and felt utterly devastated for you not because what was said because let’s face it she may have meant because he was so young although all power to both of you for building such a strong solid loving relationship for 50 years that’s a massive achievement and one you should be immensely proud of. Unfortunately when we lose someone we love it unearths lots of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings it’s a shame that we can only experience life from our own perspective because when some one hurts us physically emotionally or mentally we carry it whether it was intended to or not. I suspect everything hurts at the moment I know it does for me so try not to dwell on what I suspect was a throw away comment if it wasn’t she was wrong we are all capable of making mistakes she didnt even know you let’s face it she wasn’t around long enough I think the longevity of your relationship speaks for its self and that’s the most important thing you loved each other deeply and at the end of the day that’s the most important thing you and I were very lucky we found someone to love us not everyone will have that in life xx

Thank you AquariusA for your kind comments. It was just one of those mornings, I don’t know why it was yesterday as I have not thought about it since Peter died three years ago when I said to our sons, your dad is now with his mum and dad again. I know it sounds silly but I thought at the time, ‘I hope his mum doesn’t tell Peter she doesn’t like me’. Silly things go through your head when you are grieving. Thank you for writing to me. Take care. Sheila xx