I can't imagine what she thought when her son brought me home.
She probably had that same feeling a mother has when her son chooses the kitten with a gooey eye that doesn't open all the way, missing parts of an ear and the tip of a tail, and breathes like a heavy smoker. He picks it up, which is fairly easy, as the poor thing limps around with one leg shorter than the other three (an old wound never properly healed) and declares this bony ball of fur and sickness "the most beautiful, perfect kitty in the whole world!" I AM that kitty!
I was broken down, used up, devalued, starved, pitiful, and hopeless. I"d been played with for a minute, then thrown out the window of the moving car. I was worthless and pathetic. And sad. I was just another stray in a vast sea of strays who are lost and looking for a home. I'm sure she could see it and feel it and sense it. I will never be good enough for her son, We both know it.
When faced with the kitty, most Mom's are thinking, "Right. I'll give this poor wretched thing two weeks, and if it doesn't die of this respiratory infection, I'm sure it's intestinal worms will work their magic and put the poor dear out of her misery." Then, because she loves her son and her son CLEARLY loves this kitty, she helps him nurse it back to health. She may be secretly hoping he loses interest in this poor wretched thing, but his love heals this desperate, broken soul. His love feeds her and returns the shine to her eyes, and the softness to her fur. His love softens Mom's heart, and soon Mom sees his beloved through the son's eyes.
And in the case of Mother Mary, it is her job to see me, her son's beloved stray kitty (me), through Jesus's filter of love. What an incredible job for a human woman. Even one full of Grace.
So now I have the responsibilities of a daughter-in-law, where it comes to her. I will learn the traditions, the recipes, the history of his family through her. I will ask her to share the stories of him as a child, and learn the special language that each family has to communicate with each other. I will get to know them because I love him. She and I will share him lovingly. We will mourn together remembering his crucifixion, and rejoice together on Easter remembering his Resurrection. We will each hold a beautiful and perfect place in his heart.
We will love each other. His love makes me worthy, and his love makes her accepting of me. We will love each other for love of him. I hope that all that I do gives proof to my loving intentions towards him. I hope that my words and actions illustrate my affection and adoration.
I hope to live up to my Mother-in-Law's expectations.
***Any discussion of daughters-in-law must come with a disclaimer. I have been one, and I have some. I've walked this path from a variety of directions, and I know that I have been blessed by both of my Mothers-in-law, and both of my Daughters-in-law.***