The Glue


There’s nothing like it – for good and for bad.

We endure hardship together.  We laugh together.  We cry together.  We complain together.

We are each others’ best friends and worst enemies.

We fight.  We make up.  We fight again.  We cry.  We offer advice to one another.  We trivialize things and we maximize things.

When the going gets tough – we are there for one another.  Blood related or not; It does not matter. What is that glue that holds us all together?

My mother-in-law came home from a nearly two week hospital stay yesterday.  I went to visit her in the morning and discovered she was being released.  I was happy.  She was … well… it was hard to say.  “I don’t want to be a burden on you, Stacey”, she repeated.  “I’m just as happy to stay here if they want me”, she continued.  “I’m sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused you”, she added.   My heart ached for her.  This is not what I wanted her to feel.  She has been a rock for her children throughout the years and, when I was receiving treatment for cancer last year, she became my rock too.  I counted on her being there.  There wasn’t much she could do – but she was “there”.  She was “present” for me.  As it turns out, there isn’t much I can do for her as she awaits further medical intervention.  But I can be “present”.  And that is what I will be. She is family, not blood, but still family in every sense of the word.  Being present has been our glue.

I have not seen my brother for a long time as he lives out of town and is busy with his own life.  We have a very “complicated” relationship, let’s say.  There is a big age gap between us, so, growing up we never really had anything in common other than our parents.  He was married while I was still in elementary school.  The deaths of our parents traumatized both of us.  We worked through it – together.  We stuck by one another through his marriage break-up, his reunion with his “adopted” family, and through multiple moves across the country.  It was not easy – we did not have a lot of common base – but we managed to be “present” for one another when the chips were down.  He was present for me when I experienced some dark times during cancer treatment, not physically, but mentally.  Our history was and continues to be our strongest bond. We shared our childhoods, our parents, our values.  He remains my family – no matter what disputes we may have – he remains my family.  Our history is our glue.

I am the one who has been adopted by the LePage family.

I am not blood.   Blood is not the glue.  We have been together now for over 25 years.  We now share history.  We share parents.  There are gaps, both physical and mental, but there are also bridges.  And we continue to bridge more closely to one another because of a common purpose:  their mother, my mother-in-law.  She is the glue.

Will I be the glue – the matriarch – that holds our family together?  When I’m gone, how will our families bridge?  Our children fight.  They disagree. But – on most other occasions, they support one another.  They love one another.  They share their childhoods, they share their parents, they share their grand-parents. Although their memories may be different, there are many things they have in common:  bedtime stories, childhood songs, dances, laughter, celebrations and traditions.  Will this be enough to glue them together to be a family forever?


There’s nothing like it – for good and for bad.


About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in appreciation, attitude, family, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Glue

  1. Well wishes to your Mother in Law Stacey. It’s such a comfort, to have someone ‘be’ with you. Through it all.

  2. pepe says:

    ” Family-There’s nothing like it – for good and for bad”..
    this is what makes us..Amen..!!

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