My mother-in-law is 86 years old. At that age things can happen and sometimes you end up in a hospital bed. But my mother-in-law is not the type to get discouraged.

When I was strolling up to her hospital bed with a bouquet of flowers, the first thing she said was “Oh Heavens! You have to see me like this!” By this, she meant her unbrushed hair and cracked nail polish. “In this place a woman does start to deteriorate fast”, she continued. That gave a sense of relief, gave me a feeling that from this hospital visit my mother-in-law would also walk out swiftly and on her own feet, straight back to her own home. And that’s because she has the right outlook for life.

My mother-in-law is not a fancy lady to say, but she still brushes her hair and polishes her nails even if she’s staying at home most of the time. She’s always in a good mood, and keeps her sense of humor. In the middle of enjoying our afternoon coffee break she could burst out “I hope your sex life is in order?” You never know what you’re gonna get to spice up your coffee.

Gin and tonic is served often. Always at 10 pm my mother-in-law has her gin and tonic -time, and at her hospital bed we agreed that once she gets back home again, we’ll have a gin and tonic. And we will. For sure.

When my parents passed away too soon, I told my mother-in-law that it’s all up to just her now. She needs to keep breathing to at least attend my first-borns graduation. She’ll be 98 at that time. I think, with her perspective on life, she’ll be there, dressed to the nines, and you can bet there’ll be gin and tonic.

My mother-in-law says that a woman can never be too old, and this is completely true!

Photo by Jake Thacker.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.

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