It has taken me awhile to get back into blogging. With so many busy days recently & getting back into my work schedule, I just haven't made the time. We have been through so much & yet life goes on. We get up every day & continue to work through the ups & downs. It may not always go the way we planned, but JOY comes in the morning.
Two months ago, my mother in law conquered her battle with cancer & entered the gates of Heaven. Some may beg to differ that she did not conquer, but "lost" her battle. Without the hope of Heaven, without knowing Jesus as a personal Savior, you could look at it like that. She didn't get better...she didn't beat it so to speak, but she did in fact WIN.
In this thing we call life, we are in a race. Each one is given the tools to run the race & the finish line (the GOAL) is to make it into Heaven. We need to live right, pure, & overall in everything we do we need to live for Jesus. Once we have asked for forgiveness of our sins & asked Him into our heart, we daily keep running that race. It's not easy...there are so many things to overcome, but that's what we live for, that's the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ & the best part of all...we will get to see our loved ones again if we keep true to His word & press on.
We miss our Mimi.
She was so many things to so many people...wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend...just to name a few. She did SO much, even in her sickness. She CARED about everyone & it was well known not just in our community but across the country. She had been buying gifts for people & storing them away...we ended up giving several gifts she had made up for people in the weeks following her funeral. She was giving, even in her absence.
All of her accomplishments, all of her roles, all the things that she was involved in or took care of...over & over we were reminded, & ARE reminded everyday just how much she did & what she meant to so many people.
She was truly a GREAT woman.
Her viewing & funeral were a testament to her faith & the people she touched. The florists had calls from all over the country & the funeral directors said they had never seen so many people & flowers in those few shorts hours. Everything was beautiful...I know she would have been blown away by the generosity & outpouring of love for this family.
I had the privilege of marrying into her family over 8 years ago. I remember the first time I met her it was just me & her. No one else was around & I didn't even get a formal introduction =) We just met.
I remember her saying she was happy to meet me & gave me a hug! I immediately started helping her around the house & helped her put sheets on the beds...it was almost like I had been there all along. The chores we took care of, the countless dishes, clean up, decorating...they hosted people in their home on a regular basis & the more I got comfortable cooking, the more I contributed to the meals =) She was an encourager & never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything...the closest she got to disappointment was when she would say .."Well, that's just tacky!" & usually it had to do with something she was buying & they didn't have a certain size, color or preference she was looking for. She had an impact on my life, & since I moved away from my own family, she became a life line. She taught me a lot about the south, living on a farm & was the picture of southern charm. I don't think I will come close, but even now I find myself saying, Lela always did this..or that..or said such & such. She is never far from my mind.
In marrying her son, I guess you could say I was the only daughter she ever had. Not that she didn't have MANY other "adopted" daughters before me. She was like another mom, or grandma to several family's, always taking care of people like they were part of the family. I gave her the only 2 grandchildren in the family...but she had lots of other "grandchildren" before our kids came along! =) Children were her joy & passion to work with. Family's all over the world were impacted by her giving, her generosity & working a lot with Missions, all over the world is a true statement!
I can honestly say when we found our forever home it wasn't just by coincidence. God had a plan & saw the bigger picture before we did. We are literally 100 yards or so from the house Matt grew up in. When Lela was sick, it was easy to run back & forth between our homes when she needed something or wanted to see the kids. We got to spend a lot more time with each other & Matt was able to help around the barn & with the horses. Any way you looked at it, from finding the house, to selling our old one...we knew it was meant to be. Even the realtors talked like things never work out that way & one even said it was definitely God working out all the details. I'm sure He was. He always has the perfect plan for our interests.
We are now in a location that best suits our family. We are able to be together as much as we want. We have friends & family that have helped us in more ways than we can count. They continue to be the support we need along with the prayers & cards we receive on a regular basis. Not a day goes by that I don't feel strength from God when I just want to fall apart.
The last 2 months have been a whirlwind of activity. Things will never be the same but we have been managing to find a new way of handling the day to day tasks. We traveled a lot shortly after her funeral & being with friends & family was the best thing for us at that time.
As for her 2 grandchildren...Greyson will remember her. He still talks about her & asks how she is doing in Heaven. While he doesn't understand the concept of WHY she won't come to back to visit or why we can't go see her, he understands that she is in a wonderful place. One that is free of "machines" & medicine. One that made her feel better & that if he wants to to always feel better & not be sick anymore, she will stay in Heaven with Jesus until it is our turn to go.
Just recently a sweet ANGEL of a woman sent Greyson a gift that had me in tears & still does anytime I think of it. We had just talked about Mimi being in Heaven the night before & the next day received a priceless gift. In the letter, this dear friend (who I have yet to meet, but has a godsend of a daughter =) wrote a special message to Greyson. In her praying she felt like the Lord was asking her to send a gift to Greyson from his Mimi in Heaven. Along with the adorable gift she added a little single pack of fruit snacks. To us that was key...because Greyson didn't know who miss Theresa was but as soon as he pulled out the bag he exclaimed..."Mimi's snacks!" They used to share those same kind of fruit snacks whenever he would go to visit her. It was exactly what he needed to know she was still thinking about him. I'm sure she is & it was neat to think that she was still "giving" gifts to her grandchildren through the love of others.
Rilynn only had 7 short months with her, but we have gifts we will treasure & she will know they were from Mimi. We have precious memories & photos to share with her as she grows. We will make sure she knows the legacy that was left behind. There are so many times I want to share with her what the kids are doing, or send her a picture or video of something Greyson said or did. As Rilynn grows, I have to remind myself that I can't share her accomplishments of crawling or "talking" through the phone anymore, but I'm sure she is just as proud as I am =)
It is heartbreaking when we lose a loved one.
But I would never wish her back to this old world. To the pain & suffering of each day.
As hard as it is for us, I have nothing but JOY knowing she is with Jesus. It makes Heaven sweeter every day knowing what we have to look forward to.
I am thankful for the time we had with her & can't wait until we see her again!