One of the best parts about marrying the guy I did is the wonderful family I inherited with him. They're very loving and warm and they'd do just about anything for you. They don't necessarily talk about feelings, but it's not very often that they have to. It's understood because of how well they show it.
At the center of this wonderful family is my mother-in-law, Margaret. She's so petite that you may never realize how strong she truly is. But this year, we learned that strength comes in many sizes. Even in petite, athletic little women like Margaret.
Right around Thanksgiving, Margaret was diagnosed with anal cancer. I've never written about it here because I didn't want to interfere with the family's privacy during a difficult time. She's been through chemo and radiation, yet each week she text me to ask me how I was feeling.
It was a conversation we had many times. I would also ask her how she was doing, and even in her sixth week of treatment, she would only tell me that she was a little tired. I knew things were at their worst when she told me that she wouldn't wish this upon anybody, but that was the only indication she gave us that she was hurting at all.
Nevermind the fear I'm sure she felt.
Nevermind the physical pain and exhaustion.
She was doing her best to shelter us from her reality.
That's one of the things I love most about Margaret. She loves those around her selflessly, even if it takes every ounce of energy she's got. It takes some getting used to. I'm not used to letting people look after me.
I love the way she loves my husband, and how loving she is to me because I'm his wife. She's a wonderful mother, friend and grandmother. She's the mother in law that a new bride hopes for. And I can't wait to see how she loves Tilly, too.