THE BLOG

A Mother's Day Tribute to My Mother-In-Law

05/09/2015 01:53 pm ET | Updated May 09, 2016

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Mother's Day is the perfect day to write about my mother-in-law. She left us way too soon, 27 years ago. None of us thought dad would last a year without her. We were so wrong.

She has been on my mind a lot, as we've been watching dad die by inches for the past three years. I'm not sure what he's hanging onto, or if mom is somewhere peacefully blocking passage, but none of us could have imagined it this way.

My mother-in-law was a breath of fresh air. The woman would spell D A R N in front of my kids, which always made me laugh.

Then there was the day she made me choke on my morning coffee relaying how she learned what f*&k meant. I'm not kidding.

As her story went, after a few months of marriage she asked dad what the word f*&k meant. She'd always thought it was an Italian word because it was the Italian boys who wrote it on the sidewalk where she grew up.

"For Christ's sake! We've been doing it for three months and you don't know what it is?"

You have to laugh!

It's the big family events that really get me. When our oldest son Jeff got married 18 years ago I missed her more than I could have ever imagined. She would have adored his wife, Marcie, and Greg's wife, Marsha. When our 1st grandson was born I thought about mom constantly. She was such a wonderful grandmother... I couldn't possibly live up to her standard, could I?

She would have laughed, as we do, about having only boys in our family. Four grandsons and three great-grandsons seemed like a pattern. But when the 1st great-granddaughter, Caylee was born 5 years ago, I know mom would have been over the moon with joy for my sister-in-law and her family! Now they have 2 beautiful girls mom would have adored.

Sally Hammond was a lady and a wonderful homemaker. She did not like being called a housewife, thank you very much. Home was her domain and she took it very seriously. I could never measure up.

So Mom, if you're watching and listening, I'm blowing you a kiss and sending you much love for all you were and still are to me.