Happy Mother’s Day! Mothers everywhere are waking up to breakfast in bed, or so we’re supposed to believe. I made myself some coffee in my new tiny, one cup Keurig since Bob left before dawn for the hospital. And the new mom, our daughter the Bride, is working at her hospital today too. But her Groom, “God bless him” as my Mother-inLaw Ada would say, did remember to send her flowers.
Ada has been my MIL now longer than Nell Mahon was my foster mother. In fact, she went to Nell’s funeral with me. I can’t think of how many funerals we’ve been to together, and there’s nobody better to take to a funeral, or a wedding for that matter. I met Ada when Bob and I started dating in high school, and she was the one who found me in the hospital while I was visiting my foster father much later. Daddy Jim was dying then, just when Ada ushered me into Bob’s room to rekindle our friendship. Bob went into the hospital for a little minor surgery, and walked out with his future wife…thanks in large part to Ada.
Oh and one more funereal thought – Ada bought me my very own burial plot right after we married. To this day, we both think that was pretty funny! But she did purchase a whole space in the local cemetery for her family, her three sons, and their wives…
She always said she was on my side. That if Bob and I ever broke up, she’d take my side, “All the way baby!” You see, Ada was from Brooklyn. There was no pretense, no argument, what she said always happened. She had gone back to school while we were in high school, to get her degree in Marriage and Family Counseling, and in the late 60s until now, has always practiced in her home. She was going through her own divorce when Bob and I met up again near Daddy Jim’s hospital bed.
The youngest of three sisters, Ada had led a privileged life. Like many Jewish immigrants, her father was a tailor who came from Russia with nothing, and eventually owned a coat company in NY. She had a private car that would take her to school. She was expected to live at home until she married, this was before Betty Friedan. And she married a physician, like one of her older sisters. Unlike her sisters, she promptly moved out to the country, to the wilds of NJ, and had three boys.
Four Bridges was the bungalow colony her father started near their home in Chester, NJ. It was his retirement project, but also a way to keep the sisters coming back together every summer with their cousins and friends. I once gave Ada a painting, it was a picture of a house that had her name on it as a B&B, because she never met a stranger. Every time I would visit her, with the baby Rocker and young Bride in tow, she would have a house full of people, coming and going.
Ada is like Dolly Levi and Ruth Westheimer combined!
Well actually, she doesn’t have that Russian accent, it’s more Bedford Sty. She did get a doctoral degree and a certificate in sex therapy. I can imagine that went a long way when my teenagers told their friends their grandmother was a Sex Therapist. Here she is with the Bride at the Bug’s baby shower.
This is the kind of joy she inflicts on everyone everywhere she goes! She is still living and working in the same house with my wonderful Father-in-Law, Baptist preacher turned therapist, turned woodcarver Hudson, who was the Officiant at the wedding. You know, that wedding in 2010 that started me blogging. Between them both, they now have 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. At 88, she is still as effervescent and full of life as ever. They just got back from a cruise to Spain. An amazing woman, I am so proud to call her Mother.
I’ve always said I married Bob to get this woman as my Mother-inLaw. Thank you Ada, for always being on my side. And I’ll always have your back too. Now if only someone could fix our knees.