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Friday, March 31, 2023

Real Life – Mom


The first time I met the woman who would become my cherished mother-in-law, I was 20, and Mom was 51.

Koltes_WebAt the time, I was a country mouse who had never flown, much less undertaken a journey involving three trains, and a daunting station switch in New York City. When I finally arrived for my visit, I was limp and overheated, but I quickly learned several things about Mom. First, the only sensible place to be on a steamy Pennsylvania day was down by the pool—and Mom was. Second, Mom rose above weather doldrums, among other things, powered by brewed iced tea, loaded with sugar. Her affection for sweetener was rivaled only by her love of ice cream, served nightly, accompanied by Snyder’s pretzels. When you stayed at the Koltes’ house, dessert was announced before your napkin even made it to your lap.

John and I married at 24, and Mom and Dad welcomed me into their family as a daughter.

When we started our own brood, Mom came to help out, the first time, she said, that she had ever been away from Dad. Imagine my surprise on awakening to feed Lindsay, when Mom appeared at my bedside with a seven ounce beer! It was good for mothers, she explained, and whether it was or not, it sure made for a great story as the years went by.

That first visit to Philadelphia, 40 years ago, was the beginning of many meaningful moments with Mom. A great listener, a supportive parent and friend, Mom wrapped us all in love, along with a seemingly endless supply of hand-knitted afghans and sweaters.

Sunday afternoons will never be the same without our weekly phone calls, but she would tell us to get out and live life, look around, and remember how lucky we are. We have each other, and Mom lives in us.

In her memory, we will carry on.

Patti Koltes
Patti Koltes
Real Life © by Patti Koltes. Contact her at pkoltes@gmail.com.