I am very fortunate to have a lovely mother-in-law. In fact, Andrew's whole family is delightful. We care enough about one another not to talk about things like politics, which is the mark of a truly caring family.
Last year, my m-i-l had a surgery that went badly. In the days after, she was hopped up on lots of drugs, completely high, and yet she still was delightful. She was caring, asking (admittedly repeatedly) about other people--"Did so-and-so's son find a job? He had an interview."-- and generally not being horrible. I have a fear that if my filters were out of commission I'd become a swearing, vile bag of rudeness. Many of the things I say in my head are not for public consumption. Let's hope it never comes to that, or, if it does, the only people who witness it are those few who would not be shocked.
My m-i-l is nearly completely recovered, but she still has a couple lingering effects. One of them is that one eye waters a lot. She's taken to carrying a handkerchief in her purse for this reason. I see this as a crafting opportunity, and one of her Christmas presents this year are these:
They're a small gift in appreciation of her kindness... and the fact that she gave birth to and provided half the genes for my very favorite person.