While going through my father-in-law’s belongings, since his passing earlier this month, we have come across so many interesting things…things we knew nothing of, but should not have been surprised about. One of the things we found that was particularly exciting to me, was a box of old letters written back and forth between my in-laws, during the last months before their marriage. Old letters give their reader such insight into the true person the writer was. At that time, my she was living in Colestrip, Montana, and he was working in Rosebud, Montana. Being in love and so far apart is never an easy thing, but they made due, knowing that soon they would be together for the rest of their lives.
While the letters always contained the usual “I miss you very much” parts, there was something else in one letter from my father-in-law that I thought was so sweet. In the letter he asked how his “girls” were doing. I looked up at the date on the letter, because he said “girls” and not girl. It was written on February 28, 1949…my mother-in-law’s birthday, and a little over 3 months prior to their marriage on June 6, 1949. So, what “girls” was he talking about? In the next sentences I found my answer. He clarified, when he wrote the name of that sweet little girl…Margaret. The little girl he loved so much and found to be so sweet, was my mother-in-law’s baby sister, who has long since been given the nickname, Margee. He went on to say, “I think she is the sweetest thing. I would like to have one just like her.” That comment brought tears to my eyes. It was just such a sweet thing to say, and it came straight from his heart.
I have always found my father-in-law to be a very good judge of character, and in my opinion, he hit that one spot on. Margee has always been a sweet person, who is willing to help in whatever way she can, and when she retired, and we were at a place in my mother-in-law, her sister’s care, where she could no longer be left alone, Margee stepped up and sat with her whenever we needed to take my father-in-law to the doctor or hospital. That, in my opinion, proved just exactly what he had seen in her when she was just a little baby, and though I have always loved her, it so completely reinforced my feelings for Margee, that it…well, lets just say it will be impossible to ever repay Margee for all she did for us. When we needed her most, and she proved over and over what a “sweet” person she is.
Dad saw something is his sister-in-law to be that would always make her dear to him. He had known her for all of her life and she had been his sister-in-law since she was just a little over 4 months old, so really, she was as much his little sister, as his sister-in-law, and she had never known a time when he was not in her life, so I guess he was more like a brother than a brother-in-law too. He got to see over and over what a sweet little sister she would go on to become. The few little lines he wrote in the middle of the letter, were not what the whole letter was about, but they leaped off the page as I read them…because I knew the rest of the story. I knew how that “sweet little girl” turned out, and how he had called it exactly right. She certainly was and is a very sweet girl.