I guess I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew Wayne and I came from very different backgrounds. I come from a long line of dairy farmers, Wayne’s family was largely loggers. I also knew his parents were much younger than mine. And I had never had a meet-the-parents event before. For a reason that I don’t recall, we took the Greyhound bus to his parents place. As we stepped off the bus at Cassiar, they were there to meet us. Wayne hugged his parents, and they then looked at me and said “You must be Angie!” and gave me the biggest, warmest hug ever. To some people this may not seem like a big deal, but I came from a family of non-huggers. We are a very conservative bunch with a German background and there was no outward display of affection – ever. And I guess (since I didn’t have any hugging experience) that I thought a hug was given to someone you really loved, a lot. So to receive a big, warm hug from someone who didn’t even know me really touched me, and had a big impact on me. I have always been thankful to Wayne’s parents for welcoming me into the family with open arms (literally). I think they felt that if their son loved me, that was all they needed to know and they would love me too. I was just recounting this story to Wayne last week, about how that experience touched me. He said I should tell his Mom the story because it would mean a lot to her. At the time she was in hospital in Vancouver recovering from heart surgery. Sadly I never got a chance to tell her how much her unwarranted love for me meant. She passed away peacefully on Nov. 30, one day before her 72nd birthday. My mother-in-law, Ruth, had her share of difficulties in life. Her own father died when she was a young girl, leaving her mother to raise four young children on her own. Ruth married at a young age and went through a painful divorce, and like her mother, she was left to raise four children as a single mother. But she soldiered on, and eventually remarried. She had a love for music, and one of her favourite pastimes was singing country songs and gospel hymns while her husband, Larry, an accomplished musician, accompanied her on guitar. She also loved fishing, scrabble and skyping. Ruth also had her quirks which often were a source of fun for us “kids.” Like the time a few years ago when a fork went missing during a family camping event at their property on Francois Lake. To understand this story you must know that Ruth was very organized, and had a set of matching stainless steel cutlery for use at home, and another matching set to use when camping at the lake. She took pride in having a place for everything and everything in its place. So when a fork went missing from the camping set, it caused her great distress. She approached each of her children and interrogated them, asking if they had taken the fork to play a joke on her. When I heard her asking Wayne if he knew anything about the missing fork, I started to laugh because I thought she was actually kidding. However, when she sharply said to me in a no-nonsense tone of voice that this was no joke, I realized how seriously she takes her cutlery! Anyway, the errant fork didn’t show up, but over the course of the next couple months Ruth would receive forks sent anonymously in the mail from random locations across Canada. We, her hard-hearted children and children-in-law, couldn’t help having a little fun at her expense. Thankfully she took it all in stride even though she never did find out who the instigator was. I am thankful for the many good memories we have of times spent with my mother-in-law, and equally thankful that this is not the end of the story. There is a bigger picture and I will see her again. Then I will tell her what a big impact that first meeting had on me. I will tell her of all the compliments I receive every time I wear the scarf she made for me. And I will thank her for raising such an awesome son to be my husband. I look forward to that day with great anticipation.