This time last year, I was scrambling to finalize the details of my wedding. After nearly two years of being engaged, I threw my indecisiveness—big or small, outside or inside, fancy or simple dress—out the window. I bought my dress on Amazon for a whopping $38 two months before our big day. On Oct. 29, Brian and I said “I do” in front of our immediate families while standing in the backyard of his mom and dad’s house. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Having waited until I was 32 years old to marry, I was past the point when an extravagant wedding was appealing. If my mother had allowed it, I would’ve married Brian in flip-flops and a T-shirt at the county courthouse. But it wasn’t just my mother I was concerned with; I also owed this day to my mother-in-law.
From day one, Mitzie accepted me into her little family and covered me with love and kindness that no one’s mother—except my own—had ever shown me. Outside of Brian and I, no one celebrated our engagement or nuptials quite like she did. And indeed, no one could’ve doted on their daughter-in-law the way she did.
In the final years of her life, Mitzie spent the majority of her days homebound. Her affections did not come in the way of presents, money, or extravagant trips but in love and respect, in sharing her life experiences, in celebrating life’s little victories alongside us, and with endless encouragement.
Less than a year later, I never dreamed she would be gone, and despite my excitement for my and Brian’s first anniversary, I can’t help but feel a little sad. Time is a thief, as they say, and my time with Mitzie ended much too soon.
If she could write to you as I am today, I think she would want to say something like, “Love and faith above all else. Do good and spread kindness no matter where you go. Help those in need; encourage and uplift them. Keep life simple.”
Molly Haines Riddle