I met my mother-in-law over Christmas. The first Christmas that KC and I shared together. She and my future father-in-law met me at the airport. KC was flying in as well, but I got there first. You see, KC and I were in the middle of a long distance romance. We both worked for Microsoft and had met in Redmond, but he worked out of their headquarter’s and I worked as a site librarian at Microsoft’s Charlotte, North Carolina facility.
It didn’t matter that my future mother-in-law had never met me, she was all hugs and kisses when we said hello. Maybe because KC was madly in love with me and had told her all about me, or maybe because that was just who she was. I still don’t know, but I do know that she loved me. There was never a doubt about that.
From the moment she met me we were fast friends. At first I tried to keep her at arms length but that was almost impossible. Veta Mae Rich was a talker and she lived to do things for others. I think that was when she was at her happiest. Give her a house full of hungry people at the holidays and she was in the kitchen whipping up southern goodies. Ask her to help you do a project and she’d be pulling out the tools right then and there. Tell her you loved something and Oh My God! be prepared to get some derivative of that object through out the rest of your natural born existence, or hers…
She was a go-getter, a do-er, she could run circles around me. I’d watch her in amazement sometimes and wonder if she ever stopped. That was my mother-in-law and I loved her for it. Well, I loved her for many reasons, but that was what endeared her to me.
That’s why it’s so hard for me to see her now, to realize how much of a toll dementia has taken on her life. This amazing woman, the energizer bunny of mother-in-law’s and grandma’s, now lives in a skilled nursing home in Las Vegas. It breaks my heart every time I get a text from my sister-in-law informing me of the next emergency. Where did that amazing woman go? I still don’t understand. It seems to have all happened so quickly, but in reality it was a slow, progressive slide.
Ask my kiddos about their grandparents and they will tell you all about Addis. Addis was the name my niece and nephew gave her and it stuck. We still don’t know why Addis, but we think it might have something to do with where she lived…Dallas.
Addis was the cool Grandma. The one that filled the house with the sugary treats they all loved and Mom didn’t buy. The one that took them to the movies, bought them toys, and introduced them to Starbucks. The one who made them pj’s and pillow cases, wonderful pj’s and pillow cases! The pj’s and pillowcases were so wonderful that I even tried go get her to teach me how to sew because I wanted to make them too-yeah that was a short lived lesson, but I digress…
Addis is one of a kind, the very best. When I get back from my Texas Road Trip, the whole family is off to Las Vegas to see Addis. It may be a hard trip, I don’t know. Addis just had pneumonia and it landed her in the hospital for a few days. She’s recuperating and we all want to see her, visit her, and give her hugs. We’ve been told that she may or may not remember us, but we remember her and that’s the reason we are going, we want to visit the very best.