It has been said (and probably with more wisdom than might at first meet the eye) that, if you want to know what your wife will be like in 25 years, look at her mother. I wish I'd been so astute when I was first considering the virtues of the young woman who was to become my wife. But if I had been, I'd have wanted to marry her all the sooner, lest I screw something up, and she slip away. . .
Honestly, from the first time I met Jen's mom, roughly 30 years ago, I've thought that she was a living saint (and as brown-nosing as that sounds, Jen will tell you it's absolutely true). As long as I've known her, she's been the personification of quiet, persistent love. Which hasn't always been easy, she being the mother of ten children (seven boys, three girls; Jen is the second-oldest, and oldest girl), who have not always been, shall we say, easy to love (but then, whose kids are?).
Being the fallen man that I am, I have occasionally tested the limits of that love, myself (I can recall her one time admonishing me, in a very understated, yet effective way, when she thought I was behaving a tad 'chauvinistically' toward her daughter, "You know, we're very fond of Jen"; uh, message received). Or perhaps more like, I've tested the limits of her comprehension as to what manner of strange man her daughter had brought into their family. But I hope that she'd agree that, over the years, we've built a relationship of real love and affection. So, all things taken together, my mother-in-law gives me real hope that my beloved wife will proceed most gracefully into her Golden Years. . .
Jen's dad died in 2002, just before 8M was born, so her mom has been a widow for the past seven-and-a-half years. Jen has always fancied herself a bit of a 'matchmaker', and in the years of her mother's widowhood, has not been above trying to 'fix her up' with her friends' widowed fathers, or whomever.
About a year or so ago, we were enjoying the after-Mass 'fellowship time', and Jen was talking with a fellow named Frank, whose wife had died some months previously. I'm not sure exactly how it came about, but Jen convinced him to get together with her mom, the next time she came to visit us. As it turned out, they enjoyed each other's company, and a second date turned into a third, and so on. It has been delightful to behold how they enjoy each other's company, and just light up each other's lives (do I have to pay a royalty to Debbie Boone for that?) And tomorrow, Jen will be the Matron of Honor for her mother's second wedding. And I can't keep myself from smiling. . .