Saturday, November 14, 2009

Feeling good while feeling bad

I'm sick. Nothing serious, I think, but a sore throat, a cough, a mild headache, and sneezing and dripping. It doesn't feel like the flu - swine or otherwise - but just one of those illnesses that enervates and makes you glad you don't absolutely have to do anything!

I had the foresight yesterday to bring in enough firewood to keep the woodstove going until Jim gets home in the wee hours on Monday. I have a pot of homemade clam chowder to soothe both body and soul, I've got the remote in easy reach, a comfy sofa to doze on, my computer close at hand (obviously!), and with Jim out of town, I have the luxury of thinking of no one but me.

So, of course, being who I am, I'm thinking about my family - specifically, my middle and youngest sons and their wives.

Jason and Lisa were married on my birthday in 1996. They had been friends for several years before romance blossomed, and I first met Lisa when I was moving to Oregon in 1994. One of my fondest memories of that trip can still evoke strong emotions in me: Lisa had changed the startup sound on Jason's computer to say "I love you, Jason." Every time he turned on the computer, he was greeted with that affirming statement, and it resonated with the sentimental in me - and thrilled the mom part.

Jason and Lisa are the parents of three absolutely wonderful boys: smart, loving, handsome, funny, and all of those other superlatives that grandparents apply to their grandchildren. Of course, in this case, they're all true! They're a busy, happy, involved family. They play with the boys, they tease, they participate in scouting - generally doing all the things that good parents do.

But more importantly, they love each other - and it's obvious. Every couple of years I board an airplane and fly to the midwest to visit them. For several days, I'm right in the midst of their daily lives and get to experience their relationship up close and personal. They are such a perfect match and it warms my heart to be around them. I'm also privileged to be their "Friend" on Facebook, a medium where it's not uncommon to see see the comment
Jason > Lisa: I love you
Lisa > Jason: I love you, too

Jason and Lisa: I love you both. Thanks for being friends, lovers, excellent parents, and wonderful role models on how to make marriage work and make it fun at the same time. You make it look easy.

Ben and Briana celebrated their fifth anniversary this summer. I first met Briana when they were both in college, and was immediately drawn to her - not only because she's a warm, loving woman, but because she and Ben so obviously loved each other. And how can you not love someone who gives your youngest child that wonderful glow?

One memorable summer, they, along with my oldest son, shared my two-bedroom condo with me. It was a great opportunity to really get to know Briana and to observe their relationship. They are now the parents of two smart, loving, funny children: a boy and a girl. They, too, are good parents, and I love to watch them as they raise their children to take their places in this world. (Although Drew is still just a baby and her major focus is currently bubble-blowing and getting her teething ring into her mouth - she excels at both activities!)

Again, though, their biggest contribution to their children's well-being is the love they share and the time they make in their busy lives to reinforce that love. I am a more intimate part of their lives simply because I've been Granny Nanny since their oldest was only two-and-a-half months old. I'm in their home several days a week, and I see them at the most stressful times of the day - leaving for work in the morning, and coming home in the afternoon. We also have family events that we share, and I'm always thrilled to be a part of those. In times both stressful and relaxing, busy and laid back, their love and caring for each other shines through.

I'm also their Facebook "Friend," and love to see:

Ben: I'm making tea for my baby wife.
Briana: I'm curled up with my hubby watching old movies.

Ben and Briana: It has been and remains one of the great joys of my life to watch your love grow and to see the many ways you complement and care for each other. You reinforce my belief in marriage, and set an example for those who are privileged to be an intimate part of your life together.

Could I ask for more? I think my headache has even gone away!


  1. I bet you are just the best mother-in-law, and it helps that your sons chose wisely! What a sweet, heartfelt entry. I have no doubts your sons and daughters-in-laws cherish you, too.

    Get well, Cheryle. Am sending healthy, happy thoughts your way.

  2. Well I'm sorry it took me so long to read this! What a sweet post. Thank you for the kind words. We are happy to have you in our lives!