Dear Dr. Laura:
It wasn't until I had children that I realized the kind of mom/mother-in-law and grandma I really wanted to be. And that is to be just like my mother-in-law. Unfortunately, my mother was not the role model for us kids that we had hoped for, but my mother-in-law is!
I call her "mom," and she's cheerful and interested in other people. I call my biological mother several times a month to see how she is, but I call my "mom" whenever I have something to share. She is a happy 89 year old, and while she has the same kinds of age-related aches, pains, and worries as my real mother, she has a completely different mindset. I'm taking notes, as I want to "grow up" to be like her.
One of the reasons I love her is because she raised a wonderful son to whom I've been married for 37 years. I am very lucky to have her in my life, and thank you for helping me realize that it was time to let her know how special she is.
A very grateful daughter-in-law,