The Daughter-In-Law

by Brett Carver
Santa Rosa, California, USA

We all have seen the stereotypical portrayals of “the in-laws” in movies and on TV. We’re pretty much conditioned to believe that a couple’s relationship with their respective in-laws to be a constant source of stress and tension. While it may be true for some, I tend to believe it’s not general the rule. I have a great relationship with my wife’s parents. And while my mom died before we were married, my wife had a relationship with my dad that was worth more than pure gold.

My dad was in a battle with prostrate cancer and, due to late detection, he was losing. He was spending a lot of time in and out of the hospital and nursing homes for recovery. At one point in the process my wife thought it would be a good idea if she went to visit him. I knew the effort involved and never asked her to do it; it was her own idea.

This was a big deal since it meant driving from our home in Santa Rosa, California, through the San Francisco Bay Area south to Monterey where my dad was. On a good traffic day, this was about a three-and-a-half-hour drive. It also meant traveling with our first son, who was a bit over one year old. In addition, she was also more than half way through her pregnancy with our second son. And with me constrained by work she had to make the drive by herself. And she did, spending several days with my dad. Next week, she did it again. And again, and again. Many weeks I’d come down for the weekend and we’d caravan home. This went on for weeks until her travels were restricted due to the pending birth.

The Daughter in Law A few weeks after the birth, she started up again. But now it was with a 1-year-old and a newborn. Week after week, down she’d go. He was getting worse so sometimes she’d stay straight through the weekend (with me visiting when I could) and into the next week. This went on for many weeks until one day I got a call that I needed to get down to Monterey as soon as I could. Her warning allowed me to be there for the last couple days of my dad’s life. He knew I was there and and we were both with him when he died.

That down-in-the-trenches demonstration of love and caring was worth more than I can ever express, and I’ve tried. I don’t think many people would go through what Lorre Anne did so that her father-in-law wouldn’t have to be alone during the last weeks of his life.

Originally published as HeroicStories #91 on Dec 2, 1999
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 2.

3 thoughts on “The Daughter-In-Law”

  1. This woman must be an angel straight from God. Being the mother of a small child and pregnant she gave so much of herself to this sick old man is above and beyond the call of duty. I am sure she has been blessed many times over for her loving service.

  2. How fantastic! That she did that with a 1 year old and pregnant and then with the newborn baby and probably an 18 month old is just incredible. Don’t know the circumstances as to why dad was in Monterey the they lived in Santa Rosa. Would have been terrific if they had all lived in Santa Rosa. But for her to have done that so he would not be alone, well she is one special person. God’s blessings on this family for all they did for dad in his last year of his life. You have to look around to find people like this willing to sacrafice their personal life because you know they aren’t going to be around too much longer. That is love.

  3. My wife did similarly while I was stationed in the Far East. I was career military, and was serving a 15-month tour in Taiwan. She would load our daughters–ages 3 & 4–into the station wagon and drive from the Endicott, NY area to Brooklyn, NY (roughly a 3-hour trip). so that my parents could spend some time with their oldest grand-children. Although neither of the girls really remember their grand-father, I know that he loved seeing and interacting with them. Before he died (in 1972) I came home on emergency leave, so that I could go through the grieving process with my mother and sister.
    Fortunately, the girls had another 16 years to share with their grand-mother, before she, too, passed.


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