An ode to a mother in law (Day 123, Year 2)

I met my mother-in-law Olga when I was 16 years old. Of course, she was not my mother-in-law, then, she was my new boyfriend's mom. Olga likes to say that everyone thought I was very quiet; but in reality I just did not have anything to say to her then. But, now, I have endless things to say to her. 

Olga is one of my favorite people in the world. 

And as I write this, I am crying a little. It's hard to put into words the impact Olga has had in my life. She has filled in places my own mother could not fill in. She sat with me in the NICU when I was recovering from the shock of an emergency birth and a scary illness, learning along side me how to breastfeed a very premature infant. Olga has sorted my socks and organized my closet and prepped a baby nursery and she shopped for my wedding dress with me and laughed and laughed with me at all the ridiculous things that go on in the midst of the serious, scary things. 

The day Lily was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I remember telling Mike,"we need your Mom." And we got her; she came and she stayed and she held together our lives when we were falling apart. Olga gave us a home when we had to go Texas for the summer for Lily's radiation. She dropped everything to come to New Jersey when Chloe was born and spend days driving me to the NICU and hanging out with little Lily at home. Olga is a tireless fundraiser for our lemonade stand--asking and advocating and sharing our fundraising work with her friends. She loves Christmas and traditions and gift chairs and birthday months. 

She has a brilliant grasp of the art of mockery, the most perfect sense of humor and can laugh and laugh at the bizarreness of the world. We have inside jokes like road chicken and slipper people, which are part of our family vocabulary. Olga can turn anything into a gourmet meal--just give her a few minutes. 

She even taught Nicholas how to clean a porta-potty. 

Olga has the magic touch that makes ordinary things special. 

And she's always made time to get to know my family and my friends--my mom, my dad and my brother. 

My brother adored her. And he was the best judge of character in the whole entire world. 

Olga does not like to talk about her hardships. It is important to her to live in the present and to be positive and to live life to the fullest. But, as she has shared our hardships with us in realtime, she's told me about hard things in her life, too. To be entrusted with Olga's struggles is a gift--and to have her see the good in us and in our lives even in the midst of utter hell is more than a gift. It is a divine blessing. 

And that is what Olga is: a divine blessing. 

Happy Birthday Olga. None of us could do any of this without you.

We love you. 


  1. This is wonderful .
    You are very blessed to have Olga I your life.❤️

  2. Thank you! Love you to heaven and back!❤️


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