We buried Mully on Saturday. Mully is the name my Mom-in-law received when our first daughter attempted to say Grandmother and we attempted to interpret what she was saying. Up until then I had called her Mom and after that the names became interchangeable depending on whether or not any kids were around. Mully was 90 years old, which was a good run, but it's a shame that her last few months were spent in the forgetfulness and confusion of Alzheimer's. She fell and broke her wrist Saturday and while she was in the hospital waiting for a splint she went to sleep, had a stroke and never regained consciousness. She died Wednesday morning.

Mom's husband died suddenly from a heart attack when Mrs. Erg was sixteen. Mom never dated again, much less remarried because, she said, she would always compare the gentleman to Mrs. Erg's Dad and that would not be a fair thing to do to someone. So this single mother raised a daughter who had been spoiled silly by her Dad and somehow managed to continue the spoiling even though she had to watch every dime. I'll give you a small sample: Often at lunch they would both go home, open a can of chicken noodle soup, and Mom would eat the broth while Mrs. Erg ate the noodles. This was not related to me in a poor, poor, pitiful us way but as just a thing that they did. Even so, when Mrs. Erg was nineteen Mom somehow managed to buy her daughter a 1966 Mustang with everything on it because she had stopped biting her nails.

Mom had strong beliefs in what was right but I never knew her to throw those beliefs in anyone's face. I hope she would forgive me for saying she wouldn't say shit if she had a mouthful. She was strong but she had a dry humor that could sneak up on you at the most unexpected times.

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I'm not going to go on and on about this fine woman but I did want you folks to know that mother-in-law horror stories are not an automatic fact of life when you get married. Mom never interfered, never tried to tell us how to run our lives, never hinted that I might not have been quite the thing for her daughter. I believe Mrs. Erg's love for me and my love for Mrs. Erg was all Mom required to be happy to have me for a son-in-law.

I loved her, and I already miss not having her to say, "Good mornin'" to when I come upstairs in the morning.