Tomorrow we will bid adieu to my mother-in-law, Betty. As a woman of faith, it’s an honor and a privilege to commend one so dearly beloved into the hands of God. We’ve known for a long time this day would come, her health in gradual decline over the past few years. And yet, it’s still too soon.
Nonetheless, as the Hubs would be quick to remind us, our hearts are full to the brim. “If she lived another decade,” he said, “there is nothing she could add.” This is what it means to be rich, I think.
Even as an out-law (as my sis-in-law, Joan, would quip) I have miles of memories to rummage through and cherish. I wrote a poem for her 85th birthday to try to convey my admiration and appreciation. Betty taught me a lot about how much family matters. I was sometimes a slow student but she never lacked for grace or kindness, much more than I deserved.
The proof is in the pudding, eh? Certainly her six girls did her proud, demonstrating love and remarkable resilience through several years of around-the-clock care when she became housebound. The three boys as well, carrying on the farm after Lloyd died and, most recently, transitioning into a third-generation dairy. Indeed, the way they have all worked together and hung together despite inevitable tensions and differences is a testimony to both Betty and Lloyd.
Among my most precious memories of Betty in recent years is that moment G’ma welcomed each new new great-grandchild into the family. Oliver Lloyd joined at #16, Henry James made #18, Sadie Nadine was #19, Rose Elizabeth #20, and Anna Beatrice, #23. Betty, always the mother hen, would tuck each precious wee one into her wing and sigh with contentment. She established the gold-standard in grandparenting legacy, knowing as well as anyone that it is among God’s most precious gifts.
I know she is free from pain today, for the first time in a very long time. I like to think she is dancing in newfound freedom and joy. Ours is the sorrow to bear but only until we meet again. Godspeed.
HER CHILDREN STAND AND BLESS HER. HER HUSBAND PRAISES HER: “THERE ARE MANY VIRTUOUS AND CAPABLE WOMEN IN THE WORLD, BUT YOU SURPASS THEM ALL!” CHARM IS DECEPTIVE, AND BEAUTY DOES NOT LAST; BUT A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD WILL BE GREATLY PRAISED.