Marlene Fuller, my lovely wife's mother, is a wonderful person. From the first time I met her, around 7 years ago now, she has always showed concern with others, how they are doing, and what she can do for them. I know it sounds like a theme in most of my tributes that many of the people I pay tribute to are more concerned with others than they are with themselves, but I see it in almost everyone I have paid tribute to. Marlene is no different. She has graciously helped my wife and I out on a number of occasions, but it goes beyond just helping us out. Being retired, she now volunteers at blood drives for the red cross and also spends quite a bit of time with her mother helping her out. What amazes me even more is that she takes the time to call my grandparents and have a conversation with them, to see how they are doing, even though she hasn't known them that long. I know my grandparents appreciate this, and I am sure that they welcome her calls to see how they are doing. Going forward, when she comes back from her winter haven in Florida, she will be helping us out even more by watching our son at least 3 days a week. This alone, goes a long way in showing her support. She lives about an hour away from us yet thinks nothing of driving down 3 days a week to help us out, helping us save money, and to spend time with her grandson.
To see Marlene now is to see a changed person, even from the first time I met her. She has been through 2 different husbands, the first being the father of my wife. All I know about the first is that she got out at a good time. I have never met her first husband, father of my wife, and I don't know if I ever will. In regards to her second, I saw her during that relationship and afterwards, and must say that she is much happier now than she was before. Her whole demeanor has changed as she has moved past those relationships and has now forged her own identity in retirement. I am sure that it is not the easiest thing to do, especially since she spent most of her life with someone else to help her out, but I must say she is doing a good job of it. It is an interesting thing to look at the mother of my wife and see both the similarities and the differences. Looking at how my wife is now, it is easy to see the values and mores that were instilled by her mother at an early age. I know that my wife had to deal with the breakdown of her mother's first marriage, but to see how she drew upon her values instilled during her early years is to see how good of a job her mother did at raising her. It is those early years that matter most and her mother excelled at them.
I know that in the future, Marlene will remain as wonderful as she is now. I am sure that she will try to spoil her grandson as most grandparents do and I am also sure that her grandson will continue to bring her joy. Whatever difficulties arise in Marlene's life, I know that she has the will power to overcome them. She has been through a lot already and I doubt that anything that comes up now will present too much of a challenge to her. She has her winters in Florida with friendships she has forged down there and of course the beautiful weather and she has the rest of the year up North in Connecticut where the rest of her family lives. So as I think about having her as a wonderful grandmother to our son, I can only be glad that I have her in our lives. So to many more good years with a fantastic mother in law, I pay tribute to her today.