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Monday, July 31, 2006

In-laws

We've all heard horror stories about nosy, intrusive in-laws who don't know their place or don't offer much support. Well, you won't hear any of those horror stories from me.

I am blessed when it comes to in-laws. Truly blessed. In all respects - in my own family (sisters-in-law and brother-in-law) and Marcel's. They are good people - all of them.

Yesterday, we celebrated Marcel's parents' 45th anniversary and his dad's 70th birthday. Once again, I was reminded how lucky I am to have married into a good family. They are loyal, supportive, kind, generous, trustworthy, and gracious. They have always supported me and treated me well. They have done alot for us in our 13 years of marriage. No, they're not wealthy and cannot shower us with material goods, but they give us a great deal of moral support which is worth alot more than the financial support would ever be.

In celebration of this special occasion, we honoured them in the way that we all knew would mean the most to them. We kept it small (they HATE to have a fuss made over them and are not fond of big parties), we didn't make them the centre of attention (except for a small announcement by the train conductor), and we didn't spend a huge amount of money on them. Our special day was spent riding the Prairie Dog Central, a delightful vintage train that takes you out into the country and stops at 2 small towns where there are farmers' markets and small-town entertainment. It was about as good as it gets - a slow pace, a picnic lunch, a few treats along the way, and a day spent with their children and grandchildren.

Today, after the festivities were over and most of the family had gone back to work, Marcel and I and the girls went to help his parents with some of the yard work. They still have a big yard in the country, and it's getting harder and harder for them to keep up with all the work. Marcel's been helping them out a fair bit lately, and today, since I'm on holidays, I went along.

It's a little hard for Marcel to watch them getting older. His dad is having trouble with his legs. Instead of walking to the garden at the back of the property, he rides his lawn tractor back and forth. He still keeps a big garden (partly because he likes to share the bounty with his kids), but it's getting harder and harder for him to maintain it. Julie and I helped pick peas today, and later Marcel's mom said she thought he enjoyed the company as much as he appreciated the help. Either way, I'm glad we did it.

There was a golden moment this afternoon that I wish I'd had a camera for. I was the last one in the garden (the heat was getting a bit unbearable for Marcel's dad and Julie) and when I walked back to the house, Marcel's parents and our three daughters were sitting in lawnchairs under the shade of a big maple tree. They were shelling peas together, talking and laughing as they did. I just stood and watched for awhile, feeling so blessed to have these good people in my life and my daughters' lives.

As they get older, their world is getting increasingly smaller. They don't go out much, can't get around as much as they once could, and never travel farther than the city where we live (about half an hour from their place in the country). They don't feel the need for travel or expensive things. They have few hobbies (Dad loves his garden and his lawn tractors, Mom reads the newspaper diligently). Their lives are fairly simple. But they are content with what they have. They're happy when their children visit, and their greatest joy is their grandchildren.

They're not perfect. They've made mistakes along the way (name one parent who hasn't). But I thank God for them and for the many ways they've blessed me since I joined the family. I am lucky to have them as in-laws and my children are lucky to have them as grandparents.

(And now, if only Blogger would cooperate, I'd add a picture. Maybe later.)

13 comments:

Irene S said...

Sounds like a wonderful day :)

Janet said...

Hi Heather,

What a LOVELY tribute!

I feel I've also been incredibly lucky to have married into John's family.

You have quite the way of capturing life's special moments with your words. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

Janet

(lordcelery.blogspot.com)

The Passarelli's said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Passarelli's said...

That is so great Heather. I wish that I had that, especially since I lost Wendy.


You are truly blessed, believe me.

Dale said...

We often hear from those who don't enjoy a good relationship with their inlaws. How refreshing! Yup, you are blessed indeed.

Gina said...

You are sooo lucky!

Good to hear about the nice in laws, as Dale mentioned!

Karla said...

It's so nice to hear a story about getting along with in-laws. I'm with the rest of the crowd - you are truly blessed indeed!

- aurora - said...

You're very lucky, Heather. It's so nice to hear about people who have good relationships with their in-laws. I'm working on it, actually. My mom-in-law is kinda "different" ;). Hopefully it's getting better.

I have sisters-in-laws who I feel happy with (cause I'm the only girl in the family), though I can't see them so often.

Thanks for sharing, Heather :).

Love,
-aurora-
http://aurora.insparenting.com

The very nice man said...

What a lovely story! I am sure you deserve to have a lovely family like this as you quite obviously appreciate them.
By the way, I keep coming back and looking at the "Dancing in the rain" pictures. They are fabulous and make you want to do the same!
I have added your Blog to mine - hope you don't mind.
Erik

Simply Coll said...

They sound like wonderful in-laws and grandparents. Nothing is more important than family.

Judy said...

Yes. Truly a blessing, Heather.

I just love how you write. I love what you write, but HOW you write is equally beautiful.

Bobita said...

I sooo love this post! I have in-laws that I adore...and the mental picture of your in-laws and the girls sitting in the shade of the tree...that is the essence of what being a grandparent is, or should be. Beautiful, simple, and filled with family.

Liz said...

You are really lucky. I could tell you horror stories!!

Your in-law's life is the one I want when I get older. Just simple and peaceful and surrounded by loved ones. It doesn't get any better than that!