When you read those three words (or is it one word?) what idea comes to mind?
To those of us who are married, there can be a bevy of emotions tied to this word. If you have a poor relationship with your In-Laws, then fear and dread may be your reaction. If you have a good rapport with them, then “joy” may be your word of choice.
Many times, our relationship with our mothers-in-law can stem back to what we saw with our own mothers and grandmothers. Sometimes, what may start out as a very “rough” relationship with the mother of our husbands, can be gloriously transformed into a friendship like no other (and the reverse is also true).
Yesterday (September 17, 2013) my very own mother-in-law, Faye Woodard, turned 70 years old. As I reflect back over the past 18-ish years that I have been in this family, there are a few points that I would like to share. These are listed in no particular order.
· I entered this family as a virtual stranger. Rodney and I did not grow up together. We did not attend school together. We never attended college together. We didn’t even meet until we were both in our mid-20’s.
· My mother-in-law is an awesome cook. From her “world-famous” chicken pastry, to her Almost Heaven Cake (my personal favorite) there is nothing she’s ever set before me that was not wonderful.
· Hospitality is key in her home. Anyone who has the privilege to be there will tell you that you feel welcome when you walk into that brick house on Pierce Street. “Make yourself at home” is a phrase that is said often.
· Sports play a very important role in her life! I remember a particular Sunday when Rodney and I were dating when I walked into the house and saw a small TV in the kitchen with whatever NASCAR race was going on that day. In the den, there was a basketball game and in the living room, yet another sports broadcast. As a girl who could barely remember what RBI even stood for, I knew I was in over my head!
· She loves her boys. With the fierceness of a mother bear, Mrs. Faye loves her sons, Rodney & Marc. She will (and has) done anything for them.
· She loves her grandkids. With nearly the same degree of love that she has for her boys, Nana loves her grandbabies. There are five of them, ranging in ages from 17 to 10. She would give anything she has for them.
· She is a fiercely loyal friend. Ask anyone who has been a friend of hers for any length of time. She is loyal to a fault!
· She loves me. I entered this family as a stranger. She opened her arms to me.
The truth is that Nana Faye has welcomed me to her family and loves me as one of her own. There is only one woman on earth who, I believe, loves me more, and she gave birth to me!
I Love you Nana! Thank you for loving me as one of your children. It is an honor to be your daughter-in-law.