On this Mother’s Day I want to acknowledge my FMIL, as she is known in widower world, to the rest of you not familiar with our acronyms, my former mother in law, Holly. Holly has been a part of my life from almost the first day of meeting her son. Jason met me in May of 1999. He brought me home to meet his mom and she said, “You’re going to marry this girl.” He proposed 3 months later, mother’s intuition, I guess. She was there for us throughout our marriage, the ups and downs, her own ups and downs, held my hand when the initial tumor was discovered and sat beside him when the second tumor reared its ugly head while his 6 month pregnant wife could get some sleep in the lounge. She brought us food, watched our kids, and cleaned my house, all while working 60 plus hours and dating a newly widowed man herself, which later would become an invaluable blessing to me as I would also navigate the unchartered territory of being married to a widower. She and I stood side by side throughout the summer of 2010 as God spoke to each of our hearts about Jason’s healing, and as those around us told us we were losing hope, we knew that that was not the case; our hope was in something greater than his earthly healing. She is a strong woman, who has held unwaveringly to her faith as she watched not only one of the strongest men she knew slowly wither away but also her child succumbing to the ravaging effects of brain cancer. She stood firm in her faith as she laid him to rest on August 24, 2010, abiding in the full knowledge that she would see him again one day. About a week after the funeral, she told me with a smile on her lips, that she was praying for my next husband, praying that God would send me a Christian man who would love not only me, but my four children as well. She even went so far as to keep her eyes open for such a man. When I told her about this guy I was kind of talking to in Oklahoma and gave her his blog to check out, she lit up with hope. She did check out his blog and sent me a message telling me that he sounded like a wonderful man and she would pray for us both. She, of any one, could have had a major issue with me moving forward so quickly; she, of any one could have shunned me for pursuing a new love; she, of any one could have made me feel guilty for loving again so quickly, but she didn’t. I have never once felt judged by her in any way. She knew that Jason had served his purpose here on earth, and she believed that God sent Ryan to pick up the baton and carry on. She was able to see past her own grief and pain and feel genuine joy over the blessing of a new family for me and for her four grandchildren. She is my faith role model, a woman who can see the bigger picture with such clarity, such vision, and a sure faith that the here and now are so irrelevant compared to the grand scheme of it all. Holly, thank you for being a part of my life and my new family’s life. Thank you for not only accepting Ryan but also for accepting him as a new son in law and thank you for your unwavering faith in the face of what could have become an awkward, difficult situation for us all. Thank you for believing in something bigger and better than any of us can even see or imagine. Happy, Happy Mother’s Day, All our love.
Just Keep Livin!