by Karal Ayn Barnett
She’s known as “Granny” to most everyone, and has been for as long as I’ve known her. She was my mother in law for nearly seven years. My marriage with her son didn’t last — I was city and he was country and we just couldn’t come together. But my admiration and respect for Granny has stood the test of time.
Granny and Pop, her husband, were known as “sharecroppers”, a southern term that means they rented their home from a landlord and worked the farmland. They were simple people who lived by an historical code of honor that is sadly lacking in today’s world. They were honest, law-abiding, hard-working and generous in their love. My ex-husband was actually their nephew, not their son. They took the child in and raised him as their own when his mother died. Never mind that they had already raised a passle of their own children. Never mind that Granny had to milk the cow each time the baby cried for his bottle at 2 a.m. after they worked the fields all day. Never mind that they had no indoor plumbing until later years. Never mind. It simply was not important to them. They lived close to nature, and they had an aura of attraction about them that city folks couldn’t quite comprehend.
Granny never met a stranger. If there was anything that she could do for you, you could consider it already done. And, too, she was the most non-judgmental person ever I knew. I don’t quite know how she managed to keep that sterling quality in the world that we live in, but nevertheless, she still has it. During the rare moments where she showed disapproval, she would not condemn the person, only the behavior. Would that we all could do likewise.
Pop passed away several years ago. I don’t expect that Granny will see many more years on this earth, either. But I know that she will be sorely missed when she’s gone. It’s seems a rarity these days that one’s mother-in-law is held in such high esteem. But you would understand if you knew Granny. The earth has been graced by her presence, and I am very lucky to have had her in my life. ***
Karal Ayn Barnett grew up in the south, but is presently a Las Vegas-based freelance writer of many years. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org