Jessica of Four Plus an Angel is one of my favorite bloggers.
Her loss is as deep and wide as her strength is fierce and admirable and her words never fail to take my breath away.
I am so honored to have Jessica here today sharing a letter to her mother-in-law.
To my mother-in-law,
I wonder how common it is for women to feel the tug to write to their mother-in-law as I do. Our relationship is certainly not average and, although there are many things I wish were different between us, there are no limits to what I want to thank you for.
Your son rarely talks about his childhood. I never push but once in a while find memories to paint my own picture of the mom you were. Our similarities begin with steamy mugs of tea and getting lost in books and I wish I knew where they end.
As much as I live my life through the written word, I find myself at a loss in trying to explain my gratitude to you. I remember the first memory my husband shared of you, reaching for your wig after a fall, not wanting your children to see you in such a state.
Seeing your son in my sons allows me a glimpse of the childhood you watched unfold and I wonder if there is a time you knew. If there was a day you looked at your son and knew you would never see him graduate or you lifted your daughter and knew you would not choose her next Christmas dress. I wonder how you lived with such pain and yet left your son with only visions of your strength.
In so many ways I feel I know you, although we have never met. The respect for women you instilled in your son, the familiar red hair that streaks through my daughter’s curls and the amazing pieces of your nurturing my husband delivers carefully to our own children.
Navigating the intricacies of motherhood, I am in awe of the legacy you left behind. That the path you started for your son led him to me and to fatherhood and to unending patience and overflowing love. That the love you were able to pour into a fraction of your children’s lives has carried them to the point they are today.
I can only imagine the mother you must have been and the grandmother you are to my daughter, as she sits contently in arms that were empty for far too long.
Sending you so much love,