Continuing on in my Month of Thanks, here is my letter for October 16th.
To Pam and Kevin Huchton,
Maybe as much as my biological parents, your presence in my life has been absolutely crucial to who I am today.
From the first time you met the woman your son was choosing to marry, I felt at ease, completely accepted into the Huchton fold. The day I met you was the day I thought “this is what family feels like”.
It was amazing to me, because I didn’t meet you until after I had an engagement ring. As both Scott and I were stationed in Iceland, you weren’t there to see our progression from friendship to dating to committing to sharing our lives together permanently. I assume that all you had to go on was your son’s word that I was worthy of joining your family. I don’t know what he told you about me. It never occurred to me to ask. As someone relatively estranged from my own family, I never cared so much what they thought of him. He was my choice.
But as we neared your home for that first visit, I did worry how I would be received. I’m not much of a traditional person, and I knew going in that I was entering a family born and raised in the Catholic church. Still, I didn’t think about what might happen if you disagreed with his choice of life partners. Thankfully, I never had to. You greeted me with hugs that first meeting and every meeting since.
Even when things got rocky, when they were on the verge of falling apart… even when you witnessed some of the mess things became for a while, you were never anything but kind to me. I’m the mother of your grandchildren. Family. Bound by blood. Nothing was going to change that, no matter where life took me.
It was a rough patch, but, with your support, we’ve all gotten through it.
In my twelve years of marriage, I’ve learned that there are certain topics I don’t bring up at holidays. I know to leave the room or keep my mouth shut when some Huchtons start discussing politics or religion. You respect my differences in regards to certain things, and we’ve discussed some of those, but we know that neither will convince the other of our beliefs and we generally let them lie. This is extremely important to me. That kind of respect isn’t always easy to find, so I’m grateful for your tolerance.
What I’m also grateful for is the pride you’ve expressed in some of my creative endeavors over the last few years. It always makes me smile when you ask about what I’m working on. I know what I write isn’t really your “thing”, so to see you trying, expressing that interest, shows me how very much you truly care about me. And while I don’t mind that my books are not ones you would normally consider purchasing, that you even ask about them means a great deal.
Maybe the biggest thing I would thank you for is the amazing relationship you have with my children. They adore you to no end, and, admittedly, I’m a little jealous of that. Scott grew up with his grandparents integrally involved in his life. I love his stories about spending time with them when he was younger. That wasn’t something I really had as a kid. The sort of bottomless adoration you’ve shown to your grandchildren touches my heart so deeply, I can’t adequately express it. You’ve been so very crucial during this current deployment, both to my sanity and to theirs. The memories you’ve created with them the last few months will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
It seems a little silly to thank you for something that comes naturally to you, this unreserved love, but it’s a rare and beautiful thing to find in the world. My thanks seems insignificant to what you’ve brought to my life and the support you’ve given.
So this is my attempt to tell you how much you both mean to me.
For the advice, for the help, for the love…