My mother-in-law Charlotte passed away a few weeks ago, at the ripe old age of 98. She had led a good, useful life and was a practical, strong minded, intelligent woman who was one of the first full time High School guidance counselors in New York City.
Sometimes in life we are given an extra gift and that’s what I felt when I met Charlotte. From the very moment we met she was my ally, and throughout the years she proved this again and again, with her kindness and concern for my welfare.
I still remember when my mother and Charlotte first met. They might as well have arrived from different planets in the way they viewed life. My mother was very mystical and fey and Charlotte was very practical and down to earth. One day they were both having breakfast together in New York. My mother looked at Charlotte across the table and seemingly out of the blue asked:
“Have you seen your husband lately Charlotte?”
Charlotte looked back at my mother in utter amazement and said,
“What are you talking about Maureen? Surely you know he’s been dead for over twenty years.”
Keeping her gaze steady my mother answered without a moment’s hesitation,
“I know dear, but have you seen him lately?”
Charlotte just stared back at my mother, at a complete loss for words. She later said to my husband,
“I have never met such a unique woman!”
Believe it or not this was the start of a fond relationship that ended with my mothers death. Or did it?!