This lovely lady is my mother-in-law, Beverly. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been staying with her for the past week, caring for her after her shoulder-replacement surgery. There are not too many mothers-in-law for whose care a daughter-in-law would drop everything, however mine is a rare gem. Well, she’s really more than that. She’s a hero to me.
As a young married woman, she suffered several miscarriages before adopting her oldest son and carrying her second son (my husband) to term. At the suggestion of her doctor, she stopped having babies via surgery and adopted her youngest child, a daughter. Her husband suffered a stroke at 41, which ushered in 9 years of major health issues resulting in his need for care and her fulfillment of that role. At the time of his stroke, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In those years, there was no such thing as a “lumpectomy” or “reconstruction”, just a “radical mastectomy” that resulted in the loss of not only a breast, but all the lymph nodes and chest muscle on her right side. But she survived. At the end of his long struggle, she lost her husband and, three days later, her mother died. She was unable to attend her mother’s funeral because of her husband’s.
Not long after those deaths, she was diagnosed with cancer again, this time in her colon. She underwent chemo and radiation, and, again, she survived. Over the next decade, she was met with financial road-blocks and parental challenges that she had to face head-on and without a spouse to share the burden.
Arthritis began to stake its claim on parts of her body, making a double knee replacement necessary. After a long and arduous recovery after some complications, she discovered that she had cancer yet again – this time in her remaining breast. A lumpectomy was available by this time, but the chemo and radiation still took its toll on her body. They did, however, do their job, and once again, she survived. Last year, her hip was replaced and she became very ill post-op, causing an extended stay in the hospital to lead to a nursing home and then to rehab. Now, she has a new shoulder to add to the list.
My point in telling you all this is not to have you feel sorry for her; she would hate that! The point is that she has gone through more difficulties than most and is still one of the happiest people I know. She’ll be 78 next month and is still very active in her church. She volunteers in several capacities, from serving in her church’s food pantry to manning the donuts on Sunday morning. She laughs all the time. She lives modestly but is quick to give, and has more friends (of all ages) than I can count, all of them willing to drop everything to come help her.
She was telling her physical therapist that she really identified with Mother Teresa’s comment…
And, really? I think that’s what makes a hero.
Wow! What an amazing lady. She’s been blessed with an amazing daughter in law!
Most definitely, a hero! What a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-love, Melinda. It sounds like you love her very much and I know you are good to her. Thank you for sharing this with us.
No wonder she’s among the “Greatest Generation”. Wow. I can only think of Job. No wonder you’re proud to be her daughter, and I think of Naomi and Ruth.
It sure puts self-pity into a whole new light. If one can overcome all that she has, then who’s to say, or what’s to say, anything cannot be likewise overcome?
May we each be so gracious, grateful and enduring.
That gives me goosebumps and inspires me to be more grateful
I do find myself complaining
more than I should
I am so thankful you posted this – it truly is a wonderful story about an amazing woman
How fortunate that she is your MIL
How blessed she is to have you for her DIL!!
I agree! She is a Hero. Not many would walk through all she has and still be smiling and serving. What a testimony to God.
We missed you today.
A woman we all need in our lives…one who has earned the right to talk about faith and trials and suffering. That’s why I love my “ancients” so.
Isn’t it cool to have role models. Having a Mother-in-law for one is unique. I had one as well.
Miss you, can’t wait for our next coffee break…..will there be one??
WOW! WOuld you please give her a big ole Southern hug from me as you wish her Happy Birthday???? I just want to love on her and sit and hear her tell stories.
Love you sweet Melinda. What a beautiful gift they have been given in you.
And…did I see Ft. Worth on the LPM blog? Do tell.
Thanks for sharing this story. Your mother in law is an amazing lady. The way she has lived her life is an inspiration to us all. And, she’s VERY blessed to have a daughter in law like you taking care of her. I will keep her in my prayers.
Melinda, what an amazing woman you have for a mother-in-law. Loved the Mother Teresa quote and your mil’s attitude while quoting it :)Don’s mom has had to be a real fighter throughout her life, too. Hopefully, we can always be as brave and strong as these gals, huh?
She is a precious woman and WHAT A BLESSING!
Very much a HERO.
I’m SO glad I came by here to read this amazing story. You are so sweet to take care of your mother-in-law. She sounds like quite a lady! I’m happy for you to have her in your life! I agree with you. That’s my idea of a hero, too! This made me smile. Thanks!
What a mighty woman. 🙂 You are so blessed to have a godly mother-in-law. And she is blessed to have YOU!
Thank you for sharing her with us. 🙂 Praying for her to be back on her feet and making those donuts soon!
What a beautiful tribute….what a lady!
So glad you stopped by my blog.
Don’t forget to stop by again. I am going to have a “card box” giveaway every month. This drawing will be the last day of April.
Every comment you leave throughout the month will enter your name in the drawing, so if you visit several times and leave several comments, you will have a better chance to win. This NEW blogger was so touched by all the comments I got on the Blog Party, that I decided to make this a monthly GIFT…
Also, if you link to my blog telling about the monthly giveaway, you will have your name entered 10 extra times…How is that for an incentive?
I was so blown away by all the responses that I wanted to email each person personally, but TIME…has not permitted..but I did love reading all of them..I am continuing to introduce my family members and then there will be some fun blogs coming up from Disney World in May. I am so thankful for all my new friends.