I had to go there anyway for a meeting. And I knew she was there. On the drive over, I thought about how ridiculous it was for me to still be angry about things that happened over 40 years ago. That maybe now was the time to let it go. To forgive her, my ex mother in law, for not believing me, for not taking my side, for abandoning me. After all, I’ve learned a lot since then and gained an understanding of the pain she had faced, of the environment that shaped her, of loyalty to sons.
I recognized her immediately sitting in a wheelchair alone in a hallway. The same frumpy hairdo and tent like dress. Diminished. Of course I had to tell her who I was for I had changed. My long gray locks and extra pounds camouflaging the young woman I had been. She said that she remembered that I had been married to her son briefly. She asked about my boys and grandsons. She told me how she had prayed to Jesus for one more year and that she worried about her son, my ex. And I understand her mother’s worry. She smiled and thanked me for coming to visit. “Say hello to Elaine” she said.