Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sam's mother

Yesterday when I wrote about the trip to the hospital, it had tired me more than I realized. I did not read the blog before I sent it. If I had I would have had to rewrite it for I had made my mother in law into an ogre and I never felt that way about her. She had one weak point. She could never put herself into another's shoes. But she was kindness and politeness personified. She had not had an easy life. She grew up in luxury with servants taking care of her every wish. She was a debutante and when she met Sam's father it was love at first sight. When Sam was born, her life seemed perfect. As soon as it was possible for her to travel with a baby, she had to go back to California to Introduce the baby to the relatives. While she was gone, the Flue epidemic struck in Maine. Her husband got sick one day and died the next. It took ages before she recovered from this loss.

I think she lived at home with her mother and two younger sisters with Sam, who was an adorable little blue eyed toddler. He probably became spoiled with all these women granting all his wishes. When he was four, his mother was invited to a dance at the Burlingame Country Club by a group of her old friends, who were supposed to entertain a group of English Military people who had come down from Washington State, Fort Lewis to be exact, as a thank you for their duties in the war just passed. She met and danced with a handsome officer, whose name was Captain Leslie Shaw. Apparently it was love at first sight for soon they were married. Sam's life did not improve from this union. If you have read any English fiction you know how sweet little boys were treated in order to make them men. Caning was the usual treatment used for this transition.

The little family moved to England. Sam was sent to boarding School. Mr Shaw became a financial person, and since it was still the late twenties money came rolling in. Until one day a message came from the State side Headquarters saying "You are fired. Close the doors. We are out of business." This meant that Mr Shaw was Jobless and all savings were gone. The family had grown by three children. Sam had to come join the clan. Sam's mother who had never had the opportunity to take care of the family, suddenly had to do every thing it takes to do just that. And she did a great job when I joined their family. A cousin of Mater's had sent them money to return to California and he and Mr. Shaw started a new investment company in San Francisco. It was slim pickings for years but better times came, but never the same as before. All this history to sow how strong Mater had become. She learned how to cook seven meals and she was a good cook. I really liked her and I never forgot how open and friendly they were while Sam was overseas.


Barbara said...

People who know you as a friend or family member should consider themselves lucky! I love how you sprang to your mother-in-law's defense. You are fair and forgiving, and when you show us these traits it reminds us that we need to see more of them in this world. As one of your circle of on-line followers, I consider myself lucky to have made your acquaintance and be able to check in frequently.

Anonymous said...

It is funny, I also feel lucky to have made your acquaintance, although we have never met!

Thank you for sharing this aspect of your mother-in-law. I have to admit that I was also annoyed with her response to your request (to stay over before Jane was born). Thanks for showing us your generous spirit.

Della said...

What a shock it must have been for her to lose her husband that way... and while she was away! We all have our weak points and we're usually blind to them. :)

Haphazardkat said...

Sometimes fear makes us act strangely.
That is my take on my Mother-in-laws reaction.

You are a wonderfully compassionate person.

And...get well soon. My man and I just got over the horrid chest/head cold. 2 weeks of barking coughs that filled our house with hungry seal sounds!!

Vancouver, WA

Haphazardkat said...

oops--I meant "Your Mother-in-laws reaction". :)