Another journal prompt question, and considering that I've written so many nice things about my own parents, I thought I'd write some nice things about Ken's Mom and step dad!
It might surprise you to know that I didn't meet my mother-in-law until the week before Ken and I got married! She and her husband were living in Missouri, and we never had a chance to make it down there to see them before the wedding. (It was a fairly short courtship. Sometimes you just know when it's right.) She came up to stay with us the week before we got married, and it was our chance to get to know each other. Ken must have talked me up pretty good, because Charlie (I've since come to call her Mom) seemed genuinely happy to meet me and very ready to like me.
I've heard plenty of horror stories about in-laws, but Charlie and I hit it off immediately. I liked her straightforward manner and no nonsense approach, and we found plenty to talk about. We also realized fairly quickly that we had the same wicked sense of humor--Ken has it, too, go figure!--so I think it didn't take much for both of us to realize that we liked each other quite a bit. We found out later that we also have a mutual love of cookbooks! In the past few years, we've gotten to know each other even better, and while there were some issues from the past, that was many years ago and Charlie and Ken have talked about everything and all is good. We love her bunches, and it's very obvious to me that she loves Ken with all her heart, and I know she appreciates that I love him with all of mine. Charlie also loves her "critters," and although she's down to one cat (they used to have everything from a pot-bellied pig to llamas), she still loves bird watching.
After the wedding, we went down to see them in Missouri, and I got to meet Ken's step dad, Jim. We also hit it off immediately. And again, while there were issues in the past, he and Ken talked it all out, and Ken says that Jim is a changed man. (Oddly enough, Jim and Ken and I all used to smoke...and we all quit! Something to be proud of.) Whenever we go to visit, and we're planning on a trip soon, we feel at home and very welcome. They moved out to Oregon for a while, and we visited them there twice, but now they're back in Missouri and very happy to be back. They've both had health issues, but are doing well and we hope to have them around for many years to come! I'm just so grateful that we all get along so well--I know that "in-law tensions" can be a big deal in some marriages, but I think both Ken and I hit the jackpot with our respective in-laws.
As for Ken's Dad, he's been gone for several years now. I'm truly sad that I never got to meet him, but Ken tells me that I would have loved his Dad, and that his Dad would have loved me. That works for me--Ken and his Dad were best friends, and if Ken says we would have loved each other, I believe him. A couple of interesting things about his Dad, things that fascinated me. He was 7 feet tall! Can you imagine? And when Ken and I first started dating, he told me that his Dad trained German Shepherds, and that he trained the dog who played Bullet, Roy's dog on "The Roy Rogers Show." Bullet's real name was Baron, and Ken's Dad trained him. Well, my attitude was pretty much, "No way. I LOVED Roy Rogers when I was a kid! You're just saying that!" I'll never forget what Ken said: "If I was trying to impress you, do you really think that's what I'd come up with?" I had to laugh, and had to admit, "Oh. Good point." How could he know that Roy Rogers is the first TV show I remember, and that I loved it? Ken has a trunk full of some of his Dad's stuff, and there are a bunch of pictures of Bullet, AKA Baron, in 8x10" black and white publicity stills, in poses where he's catching the bad guy, etc. So Ken has a Hollywood celebrity in his family! I'd love to frame some of those pictures--they're some great memorabilia.
So I'm a very fortunate woman. I love Ken's folks, and I know he loves mine, too. I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet his Dad, but I'm confident that Bill knows that his son is happy with me, and happy here at Nutwood.