This has been a rough year, especially the past couple of weeks, some of which I wasn't expecting, some I knew was coming but was not ready for. How do I adequately describe my mother-in-law and put a 30 plus year relationship into words? I can only try:
You came into my life over 28 years ago when I met and married your youngest son. In those first times of meeting you, there were no pretentious airs about you. I knew immediately you were a very nice person, a very real person and that I liked you.
You made me a part of your family by just being yourself and that was exactly what I needed at that time of my life. I was honored when you asked me to call you “Mom” and I was very honored to be your daughter. Your common sense nurtured our relationship through time and experiences as a family to become one of love and kindness. We grew to know and love each other as unique individuals, warts and all. We never wanted to change each other.
Not only did I become a part of your family, you took the initiative to make my mom and sister a part of your family. Your desire to do so revealed the real you: thinking about others and doing for others. Your thoughtfulness and kindness became more evident. You didn't need to talk about the good you did to draw attention to yourself because you were more concerned about others. You were busy “doing” good. Your humble actions showed me Christ and His love as found in the Scripture Philippians 2:6-7: “...but [Christ] made himself of no reputation [nothing]... taking the form of a servant...” and that was exactly what I needed at that time of my life.
Throughout your life you had your struggles and trials. More recently in the last few years, I watched the difficult time you had with your health. While there were days the struggle was harder, you maintained your equilibrium even in those moments, your sense of humor was as strong as ever, and your beautiful smile was always cheerful. You rarely allowed your struggle to prevent you from being with family. Occasionally the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes got too brown or a granddaughter's lively flip of her hand on the newspaper disturbed a quiet read but we enjoyed each others company and it was always good to be together. Your love of family gave you strength. That was always reassuring to me and that was exactly what I needed at that time of my life.
From time to time we shared thoughts about our spiritual life. You believed in Christ and trusted in His work on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. I know you were convinced and sure of His only provision in Christ. We talked about the Scripture verse Acts 4:10 “...there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved...” and you said, “That is so true.” Your love of God was also very reassuring to me and that was exactly what I needed at that time of my life.
And now ---- I struggle ---- with the pain ---- you are gone ---- we are no longer together. Already I've begun to review the marked dates on the calendar of my mind of important days I don't want to forget. I fear as time passes they will slip further to the back of my mind. At moments, the sadness stifles me as I don't know if I will be able to remember the sound of your voice or even if your face will remain as clear to me as it is now. BUT then I remember another conversation we had about Christ's triumph over death and His power to save us – I remember you believed this too. You are safely home now and being you in the way you were created and intended to be. Until we are together again, you will always be with me in my heart. I WILL see you again some day and hug you, kiss you. I love you Mom.
With much love – your daughter,
Therefore be it known unto you, O Death, you king of terrors, that though we cannot now resist your power nor escape your arrest—yet we do not surrender ourselves to you as helpless, irredeemable prisoners. We shall yet burst your bonds, and obtain the victory over you.
And when we commit the dust of our friends or our own to you, O grave! know, it is a trust deposited in your custody, to be faithfully kept until called for by Him who was once a prisoner in your territories, but regained His liberty, and triumphed over you, and put that song of victory into the mouths of all his followers, ‘O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?’ (1 Cor 15:55)."
~Samuel Davies~, Life and Immortality Revealed in the Gospel
Thank you to Of First Importance
Photo by Ron Almog, some rights reserved.