Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Want a great husband? Marry a great son.
Often I have spoken of what a wonderful man my husband is. But in as much as he is an amazing husband, he is an equally amazing son.
My 82 year old mother-in-law lives with us. For many newlyweds, this could present a challenge. But mi suegra is my second mother. I've known her almost as long as I have known my husband. In fact, we met before my husband took me on our second date.
Between us lies a language barrier, and at times, a cultural barrier, and at times, a generational barrier. But we're family. We cook together, watch tv together and on weekends, sometimes eat lunch together. She makes the world's best tortilla española and she has an amazing recipe for baked fish. She makes the greatest guiso and the tastiest caldo gallego.
Mi suegra left her home in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. This rural area of Spain wheres she lived had not even electricity before the 1950s. She emigrated with her family to South America, where she reconnected with a fellow Spaniard, the man who would become her husband of nearly fifty years. She raised three strong, healthy boys before emigrating yet again, this time, to the United States, where she established her home and cared for her family in the way she knew how.
Mi suegra is a hardworking woman. While she never took on the experiences of "modern" women, like driving or working outside the home, she ran her home with her husband like a captain in the Spanish Armada, but one overflowing with the values of hard work, love, laughter and faith.
My husband's father (who, sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet) died unexpectedly nine years ago. As the oldest of three sons, and the only unmarried son, he moved his life into their home and cared for her as she grieved for her husband and carried on in the only life she knew, but this time, without him.
My husband became her primary caregiver, her interpreter, and her advocate. His other brothers, already married with children of their own, were less able to uproot their lives and step in at the level that was needed. They all remain close, but it was my husband who stepped up as his mother's lifeline, the one who would always put her needs first.
Seeing how he cares for his mother alerted me early on, that this man was a man of integrity and a man of love. And he has been, with me as well.
They say that a lot can be determined by the way a man treats his mother. I know for a fact that it's true.
My husband is a man of love, a man of honor, a man of integrity. He has the patience of a saint (with an elderly mother and peri-menopausal wife) and a wit that will keep you laughing for days. My husband has your back. Watching my husband care for mi suegra shows me the man that he is and how blessed I am that he is mine.