Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday---her 86th. We didn't celebrate with her, though, because she is no longer with us. She departed this world back in 2018.
This year marked the third August 30th since Mom's passing, and each one has been hard. I miss her so much.
While mothers-in-law often get a bad rap, mine was a gem. No, she wasn't perfect, and we did have occasional struggles---but don't all relationships have struggles? However, unkind words and bad feelings between us never lasted long, and I always knew that she loved me and considered me a daughter. Just as I considered her a mother; in fact, for the last dozen years of her life, I called her "mom."
I first met Mom in the spring of 1985, when Gary and I were dating, and her love for me was immediate and unconditional. She welcomed me into the family with open arms.
Early in my mothering years, Mom said to me the words that would change my life and help me to get my priorities in order. I had been stressing about the impossibility of keeping my house in its before-children, magazine-ready condition. She grabbed hold of my hands, looked me in the eye, and whispered, "Relax, Patti. A perfect house can't say "I love you."
Mom's wise words helped me to remember what was most important---loving my husband and children, not having the best decorated, most well-kept house on the block. I took her words to heart, and while my house was never dirty, I became comfortable with it not being "magazine worthy."
Mom with Gabrielle and Garrett (her #3 and #4 grandchildren)
Mom was a totally amazing grandmother (Nana), and Gabrielle and Garrett were blessed to have had her as part of their lives. Until our move to Idaho, we were less than an hour from Mom and Dad, so visits to their house were regular. Gabrielle and Garrett always loved going there. Mom didn't mind if they dragged out every item in her pantry so they could play store. She didn't mind if they built forts in the living room. And she didn't mind if they finger-painted all over the bathtub wall. Mom was totally all about having fun with her grandchildren. Truly, she left them a legacy of love.
Mom had made a tux for Gary's prom way back in the 70's, and we surprised her by having Garrett wear it to their 50th anniversary party. It was a very big on him, but Mom was touched by the gesture.
This precious woman served Jesus and her family well. I will love and miss her always! In the midst of my sadness, though, I am comforted by the truth of the Scriptures.
I will see Mom again. I am certain of that! She trusted in Jesus, and so do I. And for those who trust in Him, there is the promise of Heaven and eternal life with our loved ones. And that truth brings hope and joy even in the midst of sadness.
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