the MIL

My sweetheart’s mom, let’s call her MIL (mother-in-law) here, really is a great person. I like clear-cut people. People, whose essences can be told at first glance.

First of all, her own family is everything to her. Her late husband still being the center of it all, with my sweetheart – the only child, the supreme ruler of all that is important to her. While at times her sole focus on him annoys him to some extent, it still is understood by both, this is the way it is going to be until her last breath. And he will be heartbroken and miss it a lot, when that happens.

Second, she is proud of having been a business woman, helping her husband build a livelihood from scratch in post-war Germany. Which, I suppose, is something to be proud of. Albeit it seems to have been hard to fail in Wirtschaftswunder-times (German economic miracle times in the fifties and sixties). But nevertheless, for a POW released back home to bombed out Germany and a Berlin girl with her own horrid memories of a war lost and a city utterly destroyed, both going hungry and having not a penny to their name, to have the courage to try entrepreneurship is inspiring. First they failed, with a little tobacco shop, that went bankrupt after they couldn’t secure the lottery business contract in the area, but a nearby competitor did. So her husband went back to work in his own trade again: designing coats and costumes. To save up for their own production line. At which they succeeded big time. And were able to lay a financial base, that still carries her and her son today.

Third, she is not a quitter. When her husband died some twenty years ago – he was 20 years her senior, born in 1907 and basically a different generation from her-, she took up Bridge as her past time. Rather than sumbitting to her grieve and the ensuing loneliness, she must have felt. Providing her with a circle of friends, that still carries her. She goes out at least four evenings a week to play the game and participates in little Bridge travels, the group of maybe thirty women organise for themselves.

Now, at age 89, she needs more and more assistance, as her eyesight is failing. But she still manages to live alone. And hugely enjoys evenings like yesterday. We took her out for dinner and then to a bar. She was all excited and gigglish, when she had to climb a bar stool, mentioning, that it has been ages, since she last had to. It was so much fun, listening to her life stories, watching her enjoy herself.

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