Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Frau Chronicles

One of the central aspects of my life in the last eleven years was my wife’s mother. For the purposes of this blog, my wife will be referred to as “Darling” and her mother as “Frau.” The reason for the former is clear, if you are a fan of Disney movies. I call her mother Frau because I once tried to refer to her as “Mom.” It was during an early conversation and I was smiling when I said it. She was not smiling when she responded. She clearly stated she was not my Mom and I could call her Mrs. (Darling’s maiden name goes here).
From that point onward I did not give her a title when we spoke. She reciprocated. However, whenever I referred to her in other company I used the term “Frau” which is fitting since she migrated to the US from Poland via Germany shortly after WWII.
At some point in our relationship I had issues with Frau, mostly small and of little significance. But I had to find some way to combat the annoyances. Talking to Darling on these issues often just upset her. Frau is her mother, after all, and Darling loves her mother. So, in the style of writers since the beginning of writing, I simply wrote about the issues. Sometimes well, sometimes not.
After a while I had a small body of documents concerning Frau, our relationship, and life itself - not enough for a book, but quite a few.  These collectively became known as The Frau Chronicles (at least in my own mind).
Frau died last December, just before Christmas. I remind Darling that if Frau had not lived with us for almost ten years, she would have died years earlier. Darling’s almost constant care and a temperature-regulated home certainly added years to Frau’s life. They might have removed some from mine and Darling’s, but there is no way to prove that beyond conjecture.
Before the funeral our Pastor asked for stories of Frau from all her children. I sent him a number of bits of The Frau Chronicles. He said he enjoyed them. He didn’t use them in his eulogy. That says something about the stories, so you’re warned.
So it occurred to me, there is no better place to put The Frau Chronicles than here. On a page of their own. All at once. In bulk. Enjoy

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