flashback friday

in honor of memorial day, last week…

i’ve spent a lot of time thinking about dusty’s mom lately…

she passed away in February of 2007.

i am very willing to argue that she was the worlds best mother-in-law.

to say she was amazing, is not enough. to explain how she was the glue of her family, is not enough. to say she was real, extraordinarily talented and openly flawed, is not enough.

but while i’ve been thinking about her, the one concept that i think she displayed the most, is that she loved.

she loved life. she loved her family. she loved the outdoors. hard work. laughter. she passionately believed in second chances.

she was the mother and grandma who never ran out of energy. you could find her baking bread at dawn. quilting all afternoon. and in-between she was playing hide-n-go-seek {or mah-jong} with the grandkids, or serving others.

what i would give to bottle that womans energy, and use it most days.

but, at her core, was love.

this family picture below was taken during thanksgiving weekend in 2004. the changes that have taken place in life since then are insane. 1/3 of the group {the grandkids} have gotten married, started their own families, the little kids have all gotten so much bigger. us older ones, are just getting older!

but at the roots of this family, is love.

love endures all. it forgives. it withstands. it embraces one another when we need it. it’s simple.

one of my favorite stories about my mother-in-law…

while dusty & i lived in the philippines, we lived next to one of the LDS mission offices/homes.

there were two older missionary couples who lived nearby, one of these couples had spent some time living in southern nevada. as we were talking to them one day and they figured out that they knew dusty’s mom, the sister missionary shared this story with dusty & i…

“one day, i was having an awful week, i’d had sick kids, my husband had been gone, etc. etc. and i had bought 2 or 3 cases of peaches that i needed to can.” she said, “without any notice, your mom, just walked in my back door one day with her peeler in one hand and said, “alright! lets get those peaches canned before they all go bad!” this missionary shared with dusty & i how even more than she needed her peaches canned, she needed a friend that day.

that was my mother-in-law. always serving.

between the years 2003-early 2007, lou gehrig’s settled in this womans bones. damn disease. we all watched a strong, beautiful woman slowly have her life taken from her. during these challenging times, she still managed to teach us all courage, and love.

our last family picture with her was in October of 2006. she met our last child, sela, before she passed on. i look like i have glossy eyes below, it’s very possible, many of us, especially her daughters, had to fight our tears as we spent time with mom near the end, her love was our refuge. and it was miserable to see her struggle…

right now and often times when i think of my mother-in-law, i get the ever-familiar lump in my throat and i have to fight back the tears.

the tears that know a very familiar love, the love my mother-in-law taught me. the love of family. we have a dozen or more quilts that grandma made for our family. whenever one of our kids wraps up in one, i remind them that grandma made that quilt, and that she is still wrapping her love around us. keeping us warm.

11 responses to “flashback friday”

  1. What a touching tribute – beautifully written. You must be so grateful Sela was able to meet her grandma.

  2. I would just like to add that she was also the best step-mother ever. I have always felt so blessed to have her in my life. She didn't replace my mom but she filled a space that was empty.
    I have many stories like the one your friend in Korea told you. ONe of my favorite though, is when I was made Relief Society President she knew I would be very busy. She came and did my laundry for me every week for an entire year. I look at her house next door every day and yearn to have her back. Thanks for the tribute. You said it for us all.

  3. such a beautiful post! i teared up too, and i didn't even know her. She sounds so lovely and i love all her energy too.

    Darling pictures. i love that she left a legacy with her quilts!

  4. Thanks Aunt Jane!! I only wish I wouldn't have read this at work! Tears!! I like all of us miss Grandma each and everyday! I miss her smile, her laugh, her outlook on life and the positive influence that she was for all of us! I mostly miss just being able to pick-up the phone and call her…just to hear her voice! Thank you so much for this amazing post/tribute to Grandma! She will always be loved, always be missed and all of the memories that each and everyone of us have of her will always be remembered!

  5. WOW BABY!! Thank you… I'm having a horrible day and that reminded me of good times and the stregnth within me to overcome. You rock my baby mama…

  6. That was moving to read Aunt Jane. Thank you for putting in such good words what a great woman Grandma was. I feel so lucky to have spent the time I did with her. She has made a huge impact on me as a woman and now as a Mother. I wish Madison would have been able to meet her. You are so talented at writing. I think about her often as I'm sure all of us do. You have brightened my day.

  7. Thank you so much for writing this. She was a very dear friend to me, and I still miss her smile and warm hug! You summed her up, very well, and it was nice to take a moment and remember the amazing friend she was. I wish I could live my life more like she did, because you are right, she loved, and everyone felt of that amazing love!

  8. Jane, I loved this post. I cried as I remembered our darling Grandma! I miss all the happiness she brought. But she sure left us a legacy of love. Well said!

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