I have written several posts about my partner’s mother, who I refer to as my unofficial mother in-law. Those readers who would like to catch up on my writings about her can read these posts ‘My Mother In-Law Teacher’, ‘…hold back the tears in my eyes’ and ‘Dementia – It’s Been A Long Road’.
In these posts I write about how I have grown to love and respect her. Her short term memory is almost nonexistent; she rarely remembers what was just said to her. And her sons that she does not live with call every day; but she is always calling them and saying ‘No one ever calls me!’ Her long term memory is fading some, but the important memories are still there and though she does not talk about them as much as in past years, she wants her family to know these memories and not forget them.
So in her mind, the preserving of these memories is to build a library. This is a 92 year old woman with Dementia, and this makes perfect sense to her. It is not my intent to belittle or degrade my unofficial mother in-law’s reasons and methods for preserving these memories; but a library? Once again in her mind it makes sense, after all the presidents have libraries and so she believes she should have one also. Her sons and I chuckle about this (not in front of her) as we are aware, this not going to happen, but it is important to her.
Her reasons for the library and preserving her memories are about the heritage of her life and her families lives. In my posts ‘Treasures’ and ‘Legacy’, I write about the importance of our keepsakes and what we want to leave behind once we are gone. My unofficial mother in-law’s heritage is documented in many letters she wrote as a proud young woman. With 1 sister and 5 brothers and parents emigrating from Poland and having little in their lives; she and the family accomplished a great deal. And with her sister in the Navy and 4 brothers fighting in WW2, she has letters and stories that should never be lost and that should be expressed. These stories need to be expressed to her living extended family and their offspring – in her memory – for her – so she is never forgotten and she lives on.
When I decided to start this blog, it was about me and my life, but I also wanted to include those people in my life from past to present who have had an effect on me. My unofficial mother in-law is one of those people, and though her physical library will not be built, I hope somehow in some way I can honor her life here on my blog.