Marge Flados

Marge Flados

Residents here at Golden Palms Retirement Community no longer have to deal with their own mothers or fathers-in law but most of us are a mother or father-in-law to someone yet today.  My only daughter-in-law was known to say, “I have the best in-laws in the world. When they come to visit us, they stay in a motel and take US out to dinner!”  My only other in-law is my daughter’s husband with whom I share a deep mutual respect.  I remain grateful that he married my daughter and was  such a great parent to my three grandsons.  

My mother was loved and respected by her children’s spouses and a good example to follow. I tried to emulate her in that role which mainly consisted of  “keeping your nose out of their business”.  Period.

Within my young M.O.P.S. group many seemed to think they had less than ideal in-laws but I would ask them to take a hard look at themselves and determine if indeed they had been perfect role models in their designated role of daughter-in-law.  They were reminded that because their husband was a person they liked (loved), appreciated and respected, to remember that he was the child their in-laws raised, trained and molded into the person they chose to marry. 

An in-law usually becomes a grandparent and grandparents are a blessing to children.  Parental authority is not undermined nor is a child’s life ruined if on rare occasions a child is permitted to do or eat something that is not allowed at home. I use the words “rare occasions” because it adds meaning to my point.

The best thing about grandparents and great grandparents is they talk to small children differently, share things children would otherwise not know and do things they otherwise would not do.Children have the opportunity to see people they love grow old before their eyes.  They learn to willingly accept an aging face and gain empathy for those who are slow, lame or use a cane or walker.  

They are not repelled by the signs of old age. One of my great grandchildren was all cuddled up in my lap, looking intently at my face and she put her hand on my cheek and said, “I just love your wrinkles, Grammies”!  

To ensure her safety in crossing a street I asked my great granddaughter to hold my hand. She looked up at me and said in all sincerity, “Grammies, you are old; I think I should hold your hand, when we cross the street.”  How sweet and caring was that?

One morning at breakfast, my little great granddaughter observed that her Papoo’s hand shook when he reached for his orange juice.  

She said, “Papoo, your hand shakes.” He agreed that it certainly did.  She then said, “That’s all right, my hand shakes too.”  

She then picked up her orange juice and made her little hand shake as she brought it to her mouth.What a lovely experience for both of them.

There are other blessings that result when the young mingle with the old. The elderly love interacting, talking to and touching their beautiful grandkids and they revel at the wonder of a child’s innocent beauty and gain strength from it.  

It is also a loving reminder of their earthly immortality, knowing they live on through those young lives: progeny of their  progeny and of their progeny’s  progeny.

M. Flados resides in Harlingen, Texas and can be reached at 

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