“But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” Ruth 1:16-17 (NLT)
Today a friend on facebook posted something about mother-in-laws. She went on to say that she loved her mother in law and considered her a friend.
This prompted me to think of my mother-in-law. Dale and I dated for three years, and were engaged for eleven more months before getting married. So, we have been together a long time.
At first, his mother was not too fond of me. We always say that was because I was a ‘city’ girl and Dale was a country boy she had her doubts. I know that really made no difference to his mom, but we tried to figure out why I was not liked right away.
Time did improve our relationship and by time that engagement ring was slipped onto my finger his Mom and I were friends. We were young when we got engaged. Young when we married. Yet, this woman accepted me and loved me.
Since she had no daughter and I had no mother, I invited her to be with me on many of the plans for our wedding. She actually picked out my wedding gown, which makes it even more special to me.
Through the years we laughed often. Got in trouble with our husbands a lot. Got lost together as neither of us has/had a keen sense of direction.
My memories of her are rich. I miss her mirthful laughter, it was almost musical. Her tenderness toward the Lord spoke volumes to me. She could not pray or talk about God without tears streaming down her cheeks.
I have often said I had three mothers growing up. My own Mother who brought me into the world and taught me the foundations of life. My older sister who guided me through my teen years (I personally think she had the hardest shift) and my mother in law who taught me how to be a wife and mother. My life is full and complete from these three women.
The verse above is how I felt about my mother in law. She was my own personal Naomi. Most women are blessed to have one mother who has nurtured and guided them, I had three.
The day after Dale and I married, we stopped to pick up our rental truck filled with my belongings and our wedding gifts. As we walked into her kitchen, she asked me to go to the basement with her. She had canned and made jam for us the previous fall and needed help carrying things upstairs. When we were alone in the basement, I hesitantly asked what I should call her as, up until that time she was Mrs.Thomas. Since we were both now Mrs. Thomas, I knew I could not continue to call her that. She looked at me, and said, “you can call me Marietta, or Etta, or (and she paused) you could call me Mom.” It had been almost 9 years since I had called anyone that name. I looked at her and said, “Okay, Mom.”
As we hugged good-bye to leave for our new life in Virginia, she squeezed me extra hard and that mother-daughter bond was formed.
It has been over thirty years since she passed, but today thoughts of her have flooded my mind. My life has been enriched by the woman who gave me her son.