Thursday, March 26, 2009


I recently read a post about a mutual friend of Meghan and I. The post was in regards to her mother, who is an incessant collector of fine dining accoutrement. Sparing the recapitulation, the idea of writing of a mother's quirkiness is sparking my topic today.

I could write about my own parents, both of whom are wonderful and inspiring people. However, I'd like to focus more on the x-factor in the group of parents. The factor that is generally the butt of many "Man" jokes, and the victim of beer induced man-town rants...the mother-in-law.

Say what you will about mine, lay your jokes down, poke your fun, but my mother-in-law has always inspired me. She can be headstrong at times, and sometimes a little too much in my business, but time after time she has always been there for me, and most importantly my wife and new family.

If you look up the word "Adversity" in the dictionary, Mary Ellen's picture is there. She's a single mother, raised a beautiful daughter, and has gone through many a trial and tribulation most would look at and quit. In fact, I see patients daily who have not gone through a tenth as much hardship. Generally, these folks are asking for work slips, handouts, handicapped parking stickers, generally anything that can get them a free pass at the remainder of their ill coped lives.

My mother-in-law Mary Ellen however, is very special, and very dear to my heart. What's most inspiring is that she experiences everything on the positive. You have horrible mold, well, she has found cheese, you see some chicken shit, well, she actually can turn it into chicken salad. In short, she lives, and lives to experience life. She lives with a gusto for "I can" and never has she said, "no, I can't, I don't, it's impossible, well I just don't like it". For a lady in her mid 30s (remember she'll be reading this), she's not into the same middle aged rut most fall into.

Most recently she's phasing her career into retiring, and is spending her winters/springs at her vacation farm in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Instead of lounging on the couch all day, she's riding her two horses 7 days a week, going to the gym 6 days a week, and still finding time for her husband, and family.

Looking to the future I know I am in good stead and I know I married into a great family. I also know that daughers don't fall far from the mother-in-law tree. Knowing that, I'm blessed because my already wonderful and amazing wife is to keep getting better with age. How could I go wrong?

How would I know that you may ask. I'll share one last sentiment before I go. In fact, I have only recently shared this sentiment with my wife, and no one else.

The day we were married, and as the folks processed down the ailse, I saw something really special, and it was in Mary Ellen. I saw her daughter in her eyes, the strength, the beauty, and steadfastness of the Burton family shone through like that strong summer sunlight breaking through a foggy morning in the mountains. That strength, and that beauty made me look twice, well up with tears, and I fought them back. To be honest, I'm a cryer, you name it, I can find some tears. Whilest welling up with these puddles of sadness, I quickly wondered, "How the hell are these tears no flying off my face and into the second row?"

I must be clairvoyant, because after the ceremony I found out everyone bet that I would be the first to cry. To my delight, everyone lost their bet as my wife sprung leaks in her eyes like an old worn out dam.

Maybe this was my final victory as a "MAN", "Mr. Macho Man"..."I dont' cry at no stinking weddings..." Yet here I am, blogging my feelings. Blogging my feelings about my "MOTHER-IN-LAW"...and I'm wearing a nice designer skirt and carrying a matching handbag.

Too all a nice day.


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