Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Letter To A Special Mother In Law

Dear Loretta,

I want to begin by telling you what a wonderful and beautiful person I think you are. You have spent your life serving others because of the enormous amount of love and compassion you have in your heart. You have been so faithful in serving the Lord and you have touched many lives with your ability to put others ahead of yourself.

When you suffered a stroke in July it was horrible for your family to see you in the hospital bed, and then to have you in a nursing home so that you could be cared for was, and is even harder on them. I can't imagine how it feels for you to be independent one day and totally dependant on others for all your needs the next. If Jack, Jon or Jill could change it all and have you healthy and home they would do that in a heartbeat because they love you so much.

When we came to visit at Thanksgiving and it was just you, me(and Bozley)sitting in your room, we had a lovely conversation. Even though you can't communicate with words and I was the one doing all of the talking, you were listening to my every word and I could tell from the expression in your eyes, the gesturing with your hands and by the smile on your face that you were enjoying yourself at that moment. (Bozley was glad to see you too!) It was great seeing you laugh when Jon started singing in his 'Zion Mennonite' voice because you knew what he was poking fun at. There were several times I caught myself watching Jon when he was watching you and it was in those moments that I could see in his eyes just how much he loves you and cares for you.

I know that many times, if not daily, we have all wondered why God would allow such a beautiful, thoughtful, giving and loving person like yourself to endure the kind of stroke that you did. What is his purpose for taking away what you love doing most, which is serving those around you and making you completely dependant on others for all of your needs. While we can't always grasp or understand why God's plans are what they are, or why God has chosen for you to go through the things He has, I do know that He loves you more than anything and holds you in the palms of His hands every minute of the day. We don't have to understand His ways, we just have to trust that His plan is being played out according to His purpose.

I know this Christmas for you and your family will be very different from Christmases past. You have always enjoyed serving others by preparing the feast, wrapping the gifts and gathering your family around to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Instead of being the 'servant' to those around you this year, it is going to be our turn to serve, bless and love on you. I want you to know that in the few short years that I've known you, I have enjoyed being around you, the chats we've had and the laughs we've shared. I'm very thankful that I am married to your son and that he is a part of mine and my children's lives. I continue to pray daily for God's peace to be upon you and that you will feel His joy and love in each and every moment of the day.



Helen said...

Hi Annie. I know it is hard. Actually, you have it harder, since while my mom can't walk she can talk. That has made this time with her a blessing for me, which probably sounds wicked: her suffering blesses me. Mom is still a blessing. So is your mother-in-law,yes, even in the state she is in. By serving her, the people around her change for the better. It is hard for her to be a blessing in this way, because it was so much easier to serve and be seen as a blessing, than it is to serve by needing to be served. She too has a hard job now. Can she move her hands? Everyone needs to feel needed, and if she can use her hands, you can think of a way for her to still serve. My mom makes craft projects from kits she buys from Oriental Trading Company. They usually have a bible verse on them, and she gives them to everyone in the family, even those who would need a helmet to go to Church because the roof would cave in.
I hope I am not adding to your burdens. I will pray for your mother-in-law that she will continue to be a blessing to your family, hopefully in the capacity she was before, but if not, then in some way that she will know she is still needed. God bless you.

Annie K said...

Helen, thanks for all of your insight. It it so appreciated!

I do see Loretta as a blessing because now, we get the chance to bless her and really reflect on how much she has done for us and others. Jon wrote a really nice piece on Loretta's website today and I think it kind of goes along with the letter I wrote.

Your comment about 'by serving her, the people around her are better' - well Jon told me it's hard not to feel guilty about that. But I have to go back to trusting that God's plan is so much bigger and grander than we could ever see and He is working His good in this situation.

I was so humbled just sitting with Loretta and talking to her and watching her expression and laughing with her even though she really couldn't communicate with me. I still see joy in her eyes when her son walks into the room and I do catch her watching him and his dad. And when our dog jumped on her bed she laughed and I could see that it made her happy.

I think what you are doing for your mom and how your mom still uses her hands is an awesome thing and it is inspiring. Loretta only has use of her left hand but maybe there is something that we can find that she can do to bring some happiness to her. Thanks for sharing that - it's so good to hear how God uses people in adversity.

JesteĊ› kochany moja siostra (it's as close to Hungarian as I could get and I know you're Polish!)

sherri said...

Now I'm balling again!

You girls are killin' me!

I love this lady and don't even know her but her description sounds alot like my momma.

I'm getting ready to go to bed, I will pray for her right now.

You are great daughter in law Annie. I hope I am so lucky to get one as special.

I don't know if your gonna' read this to Loretta or what, but I know it will mean the world to her.

God bless all of you, Good night.

Helen said...

I love you too, Annie. God be with you and your family.

Annie K said...

Sherri - you are such a sweetheart and thanks for the lovely comment. Love ya! I asked Jon to share the letter with his mom because it is something that is truly from my heart and she is a wonderful person.