Most married women can not say this; my mother in law is my real life hero. In fact, I am quite sure many people will say the same thing about her. She is an incredibly remarkable woman. She came from a family that was poor, grew up during the depression, growing crops and raising chickens as their main supply of their food. She walked about six miles back and forth to school everyday, in shoes with holes in them.
What makes this woman a true hero? My mother in law is a hero in every sense of the word, because she gives of herself without complaining. My mother in law's sister, the oldest of the siblings, had cancer. They gave her radiation to combat the cancer that they found in her throat. She was in the hospital for a long time. My mother in law never once complained about her sister being sick. Never. She went to the hospital every day, and sat by her sister's bedside and talked to her and read to her. She was the driving force behind her sister's re-cooperation to better health. I could see the worry in her eyes, but she never said she was worried or talked about it as a problem.
When we thought my mother-in-law's sister was better, my mother-in-law was faced with a serious blow; she was diagnosed with yet another form of cancer. As I put my arms around my mother in law, I told her I would pray for her, and that I knew she would get better. I knew because she is a stubborn, strong fighter; she never gives up. As we sat there trying to face this horrific news, the next news shook us to the core. My father in law said that my mother in law's sister had cancer again, only this time they found it in her lung.
My mother in law did not complain, she even downplayed it, saying the cancer they found in her was very small. But it wasn't, the tumor they found in her was very large, which she told me several years later. She said we should not worry about her that we should instead turn our attention to her sister.
My mother in law had major surgery and weathered everything in only the way I knew she would, incredibly well. She was weak and tired for a while, but soon recovered her strength and was more concerned for her sister than for herself. As soon as she was able, she was back at her sister's home helping her, and doing everything she could for her.
My husband's aunt lived for several more years, attending several big events, while getting progressively worse. My mother in law did everything she could to help her sister, pretty much breathing life into her. I am quite sure that if she could have done more, she would have. You could actually see the worry on my mother in law's face, and I knew she was trying to figure out what she could do to keep her sister alive.
For her entire life my mother in law has been giving to other people. She gave clothing, gifts, and her time to people that she worked with at a major department store. And she would do so with a smile on her face and ask nothing in return. Today, she makes clothing and gifts for homeless children. She feeds those less fortunate than she is. She knows what it like to be poor, and doesn't want to see other people suffer.
The only other person in my life who I have found to be as strong and determined as my mother in law is her son, and that's why I married him.