My mother-in-law ,Willie Kay Rowe (nee Roop), was someone easy to love.
She knew from the start I was around for good and always made me feel welcome in her home. Aside from her easy laugh and grace, she was a formidable Scrabble opponent. When I took too long on my turn, something that still drives her daughter to distraction 36 years later, Willie Kay was patient. I'm also pleased to report my conversion to vegetarianism did not occur until after I'd sampled her Southern-style biscuits and gravy numerous times. Timing is everything.
Early on, I recognized several traits Willie Kay shared with my Mom - intense devotion to family, an unmistakable core of decency and kindness, generosity of spirit. And they both loved to laugh. When I met Willie Kay my Mom had been gone just under a year and her laugh had started to fade a little. From 1978-1987 Willie Kay's laugh helped fill that space, especially when she'd say "must be a hair ball!" whenever I repeatedly cleared my throat. Now? Part of Willie Kay's legacy is mine each time my wife laughs - it's a sound no one can resist.
I miss her.