Mother-in-Law Story

In CategoryNavel Gazing

My mother-in-law is in town.

All week.

So. That.

She came over Tuesday, and after dinner we settled the kids with the iPad, made coffee, and prepared to get all the Family Gossip. Somehow we got on the topic of her Eventual Demise and she started giving instructions on what she wants.

MIL: I don’t want to ever move again. I don’t want to go through all that stuff. I’ll just leave it for you guys and it will be your problem

Me: I hope you don’t expect me to keep everything you’ve ever inherited. I don’t even keep my own stuff.

MIL, sighing: I know.

MIL: I still have all those potties.

(When Jim and I first got married, my mother-in-law tried to pawn this collection of potties (yes. potties) off on me. Apparently some relative collected them and no one could bear to part with them. Again – we’re talking about little collectible pottie tchotchke thingys. Like Precious Moments statues. Except, you know. Toilets. Displayed on a shelf. Because decorative?)

Jim: We’ll put those potties in your casket and you can take them with you. (see, it’s not just me who is mean)

MIL: I don’t want to be buried. I can’t think about the worms getting me. I want to be cremated.

Me: The worms won’t get you.

MIL: How do you KNOW, though?

Me, patiently: Because. They don’t just put the coffin in the DIRT, they have to pour a concrete vault. Worms won’t get you, I promise. You’ll just turn into People Soup.

MIL, jumping up: PEOPLE SOUP! GAH!

MIL: No, I want to be cremated and then you guys can take my ashes to all the places I want to be.

Jim and I: ALL the places?

MIL: Yeah. There’s only five.

Me: Is there a budget for this Ashes Sprinkling Junket?

MIL, rolling her eyes: Fine, I’ll leave some money so you can go on a cruise.

Me: I can work with that.

MIL. So, you have to take some to Kansas, and some to the mountains, and…

Me, interrupting: I thought you said there was a cruise? So far I’m just driving to Kansas.

MIL: Royal Caribbean has a package where you can sprinkle ashes at sea and they have a ceremony and everything.

Me: Like a Vegas Wedding, but with dead people?

MIL: Exactly.


Me: YES!

MIL: In all of them? There are 40, you know. (40! FORTY POTTIES!)

Me: No, just the best five.

MIL, making a face: What if I don’t like the ones you pick?

Me, slowly: Well. Then I guess you can Suck It from the Great Beyond.

She laughed. Thank goodness.


Later, she said, “I guess you’ll have a story to tell your knitting group now, huh?

And I said, “Oh, don’t you worry, I am TOTALLY telling this story.” 

11 Responses to “Mother-in-Law Story”

  1. Karen@Candid Diversions Says:

    Mine is in town this week too, helping on the new house. No potty collection. Feeling disappointed now.

    Except not. 😉
    Karen@Candid Diversions´s last blog post ..Weekend Links – January 11, 2014

  2. Kristy Says:

    I can’t believe you don’t want the potty collection. What kind of DIL are you?? I have to put up with a collection of Mug heads. And so much Vikings crap. And there are the Pinewood Derby cars. You can’t even believe what I have to put up with. Potties are nothing.

  3. Thia Says:

    There’s still time…she can pick her five potties.

  4. Happy Elf Mom Says:

    Ok now I neeeeeed to hear more about this mysterious husband of yours because with a mom like this… wow. You hit the jackpot there, tellya what.
    Happy Elf Mom´s last blog post ..“This is What Goes on in New York.”

  5. New Friend Says:

    You ALWAYS get all the good stuff! NO FAIR!

    It is weird you posted this now because lately I have been thinking a lot about the things I would leave behind in the event of my sudden demise(ski accident, anyone?). I think my daughter would understand most of it, but she would have a hard time letting go of something that was important to me, even in a small way. In the end she would likely use the things to make a fabulous multimedia collage or some such, depicting my life in a way that only those who knew me well could understand. Doing it would get her through the grief, I think, and help to heal her heart.

    It is hard going through someone’s belongings, seeing what was important to them and knowing it is too late to hear the story and laugh over the memories. I remember being so sad cleaning out my grandmother’s junk drawer. I was fine until I saw her pens, all bundled together neatly with a twist tie. All those pens she would never use again. No more letters written about how proud she was of me or recipes with notes at the bottom, reminding me to add lots of pepper when I make dressing, or not to over-beat a pound cake or it would be “pack-y.” No more reminders she was praying for me and not to worry because nothing was too big for God.

    It is the little things that get you. The potties? The potties are cake.
    Personally, I think they should be boxed up together and given to a different person every Christmas. Sort of like a round robin of bad taste :- )

  6. Karen Says:

    I read you and rarely comment but always crack up! I read so many of your posts to Keilee and she cracks up too. Really? Potties?? What the…
    Karen´s last blog post ..Boot Socks, Crocheting, and Learning All the Time…

  7. Tammy Says:

    You know “new friend” and I would totally come over and decorate a room around those potties! They’d make a killer spice rack. Just sayin’ 😉

  8. New Friend Says:

    Tammy has the best ideas EVER!

  9. Connie Weiss Says:

    People really do need to be more considerate in regards to their great beyond plans. This summer we are taking Rob’s ashes to Canada and his parents are taking some to the pacific northwest. Between all of us we are paying a SMALL FORTUNE to travel to these places. Money that could be spent going to Disney again.
    Connie Weiss´s last blog post ..Booze Corner

  10. Erin - The Usual Mayhem Says:

    My parents keep pulling the Eventual Demise card as well. My mum gets very upset that my brother and I won’t name what furniture and paintings we want from their house, even when we pointed out that it makes us feel ghoulish.

    The other side of the family, on the other hand, cheerfully keep filling every nook and cranny in their house for us to deal with later. Except a potty, oddly enough, which was pushed into our moving van the last time we were visiting them. It must be an in-law thing.
    Erin – The Usual Mayhem´s last blog post ..Greek Mythology: Easy Medusa Craft

  11. Bekkie Says:

    OMG! I thought I was the only one with weird inlaws. (Although granted, mine aren’t weird enough to collect potties…)
    Bekkie´s last blog post ..Where our narrator clutches her chest and tries to breathe calmly…