Letter to my mother in law!
On July 4th, 1984 (31 years ago yesterday), you became my mother in law when Jim married you and Lionel in John and MaryEllen’s backyard. I have treasured the relationship with you over the past 30 years and love how our families intertwined as the 4 Mohler siblings gained 3 more brothers.
When I married Jim I was saddened that I would not have the blessing of a mother in law, since his mom had already gone to be with Jesus. Little did I know that four years later I would have one after all! One that would treat her husband’s children as her own, even when they would not respond favorably. One who would open her home and her time unconditionally and generously, even when the grown children behaved poorly and disrespectfully. One who truly made her husband happy, worked hard, and loved her grandchildren joyfully. One who would reflect the love of Christ and not let her own “baggage” rule the day.
Though Jim and his siblings were not raised by you, Linda, you are the only grandmother all the grandchildren have ever known and the only mother in law I have ever had. Not one person has ever been treated like a “step”; rather each person has been considered a fully fledged member with all the rights and eccentricities. Not one moment has gone by, even after dad died, that you stopped carrying for his family. Not one day has gone by during all these years that I have not felt cared and prayed for by my mother in law! For all of these reasons and more, I am so grateful to call you mom. I know I don’t say it enough, so I thought I would take this moment to tell you how much I value you and how glad I am that you are in my life!
I know that the last 5 years have been hard for both of us, since we both lost our spouses within 3 months of each other. But, as “they” say, life goes on. Thank you for continuing to treat me as a daughter in law. Thank you for caring for each of your grandchildren. Thank you for continuing to extend both the olive branch and the welcome mat to Lionel’s family extended. Thank you for being willing to give anything for your family.
We share no blood and yet we are family. I truly believe that one of the best things we can give our kids is great relationships with both sides of their family. One of the other things we can do is demonstrate what true love looks like. You have helped that to be possible for my kids by your strength of character and faithfulness. I will continue to thank God for the privilege and blessing of have not just a mother in law, but you – Linda – in my life. With much love and respect, your daughter in law, Miriam