Friday, August 13, 2010

A special thank you....

Today is my mother-in-law's 65th birthday. {HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EILEEN!! -- she doesn't read my blog, but I had to say it anyway...} I'm having a hard time forming my words here, but I know I have a desire to share her with all of you. So, bear with me. The point of this post will come eventually.

Eileen is home bound and she is at the end stages of her life. Getting around is not easy on her. Her breathing has diminished to the point where the act of getting off the couch is a labored event. At 65, she should not be in this stage of her life. She's just too young. Eileen relies on others to do most everything for her. She's grateful for the help, but I know she'd rather be more independent. Who wouldn't, right?

I've seen old photographs of her with her family and friends and I've laughed at the "remember when..." comments that almost always follow a memory being triggered. Funny how one old picture can start an entire room laughing 'til your side hurts.

I've heard stories of her and Tony (Mark's dad) livin' it up, dancin' the night away and how they could throw a mean party back in the day. I've heard that she was rough, yet loving, honest but not at all afraid to speak her mind and quite simply hell on wheels when she wanted to be. You didn't ever want to get on her bad side, though. She was a momma bear always ready to protect her cubs and letting go of a grudge was not in her vocabulary.

I never knew her like that, though. I never got to meet her when she was wild and crazy and I'm not so sure she would have liked me. As I write that, I realize that's a pretty silly statement, because I've also heard that she loved everyone that walked through the door. Didn't matter your color, your financial status, your addictions or your hurts. If you walked through her door, you belonged to her.

She's still that way. Loves company, greets you with a big smile and can't wait to hear about your life. She'll surely tell you how she's feeling or ask you to do her a favor here and there, but she mostly just wants you to talk with her. Be her friend, let her love on you and just love on her right back. You'll be glad you did.

So today I feel like I need to say out loud....THANK YOU, Eileen. For being a good momma, for raising your son to be a real man, for loving people you don't even know and for never seeming to be afraid of who you are. With you, one never has to guess where you stand. I like that. Better yet, I respect that. Thank you for accepting me as if I've always been there. For allowing me to serve you in ways that I never though you would. Thank you for teaching ME a lesson or two about ain't always about what's happening around you, it's about what's happening in your heart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET LADY. I wish you many, many, many, many, many more birthdays filled with love and your family surrounding you.

(My husband, Eileen and Tony - August 29, wedding day.)

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age..." ~ Psalm 92:12-15

1 comment:

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

This, right here...

"...for never seeming to be afraid of who you are."

I want to be like that.

Thank you for you example, Ms. Eileen.