We got some positive news today, about my husband's business venture. It's not set in stone yet, we don't have any paperwork yet (my husband isn't big on paperwork), but it's a step forward. A really good start to the New Year....
I am proud of my husband. He kept going with this venture, in the face of almost impossible odds. People doubted, people laughed, people down right disbelieved him and trust me, it's been a struggle sometimes, as cash flow dried up, and we sat looking at each other, wondering how long we could keep going.
Luckily for us, in among all the naysayers, were some extremely important cheerleaders. They know who they are. And we are truly grateful.
My husband is grateful too.
But there is one person who stands out. One person who doesn't really understand about the business, and who couldn't have contributed a dollar, even though she would have donated all of her money, if she had any.
So this morning, after we got two exciting calls, my husband phoned his mum.
And that there, is why I'm proud of him.
Not because he has this amazing ability to create products, not because of his determination, not because of his sense of humour in the face of adversity, but because of his gratitude and love for his mum.
You can tell the measure of a man by the way he treats his mother
My mother-in-law is very religious. Her "other" family is her church. She is devoted, to the point that she pays a tithe, even though she is not far off the poverty line herself.
There are some, my husband included, who regards this particular Church as a cult. And certainly, it would seem that my mother-in-law made some harsh parenting choices, as a result of her religious fervour.
She was a disciplinarian, and was certainly not afraid to use corporal punishment
She insisted that the kids all go to Church every Saturday
She disapproved of just about all "normal" teenage activities.
She was blind to the dark side of the Church, the injustices and the cruelty.
She was also married to an alcoholic (although my late father-in-law sobered up, later in life), and was often responsible for feeding and clothing of six kids with virtually zero income.
When I speak to her now, there is not a trace of bitterness towards her late husband, although his alcoholism left them in debt, and her in poverty when he died.
Her hatred is directed towards alcohol itself.
"I've seen what alcohol can do" she says..."It's evil and destructive"
She's not just talking about my late father-in-law. She witnessed violence and abuse fueled by booze in the community where she worked as a teacher.
She was very supportive when I told her I was quitting drinking.
"That's marvelous, you'll be so much happier. Alcohol never brought anyone any happiness"
My husband often says...'if it wasn't for mum, I would never achieved anything, because I've no idea where we would have ended up....."
His gratitude translates into practical help for her these days. When the business takes off (and I know it will), top of the "to-do" list is to make sure we can provide a comfortable lifestyle for her, for the rest of her life.
So would I still be proud of all my husband's achievements, if he didn't hold his mum in such high regard? If he didn't take care of her?
I don't know. I wouldn't have married him.