My daughter is about to have one. I am about to become one. And, so, as I walk the streets of my foothill town and trying to calm nerves and release endorphins, I find my mind swirling and spinning back to the time when I had a Mother-in-Law.
I think back two decades, and remember the time when I was a young bride. I should not have even been allowed to have a Mother-in-Law, because I certainly didn't know how to handle one with care. I didn't know that Mother-in-Laws are fragile and sensitive. I had no understanding to that which she was giving up, on the day of my wedding. I did not know that the struggle I had with her for power or control would become insignificant in a very short time. I didn't know that she would soon become one of my greatest fans.
I wandered through the first few years of my marriage easily irritated by things she would say. Jumping into the role of the nagging and negative wife. It wasn't the best time of my marriage, and now, when I consider the mindset I had, it is so obvious as to the root of the problems. This need for control. This desire to decide.
It is a brutally sinful place for a woman to reside; sitting next to a tree in the middle of Eden, eating her apple of control, wanting to make each decision fall the way she has determined.
Fortunately for me, I found my way free from this place of selfishness. Somewhere between the graveyard of my daughter and the little league field of my children, I recognized that this woman did not only love her grandchildren, but she loved me. She loved her daughter-in-law as a Mother loves a child. She wanted my success. She wanted me to achieve and she was proud of any of my goals gained.
Sadly, it wasn't too long ago that she began to disappear. She became engulfed by her disease. Knowledge became her enemy as her memories became unobtainable. The darkness from her disease took her away from us, and now when I think of what we lost, my words work against me to describe my feelings.
I know it is sadness. And I know it is regret. But, it is deeper. It is like my heart gets so heavy that it sinks down and causes my soul to crease. And when you have a crease in your soul, you can't ever make that go away.
I want so badly to go back and love her better. I want to go back and appreciate her for her willingness to love me and accept me into her family. Flaws, failures and shame~but she didn't see those things.
Moving forward, with a wedding in 10 days, I am to become a young man's Mother-in-Law and I will have the chance to love him in spite of flaws, failures and shame. My daughter will be received into another family and everyday I pray that she will be loved as fully as I was.