Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)
TITLE: My Husband's Parents
By Rita Horten
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I observed her behavior with her son with great interest. She showed great love for him without being overly doting. She displayed a genuine respect for him that I found to be quite rare. This mother had lost a younger son to suicide years ago, but instead of being over-protective or fearful, she showed great strength and a healthy acceptance of life’s ups and downs. She was a fighter and a great defender of her loved ones, I could tell. She had been a good mother, involved in her sons’ activities and a real cheerleader for them; believing that they could do anything they set their minds to. She encouraged them to set high goals for themselves and taught them to not be afraid of hard work. For all her efforts at guiding them and loving them, she could not protect them from life’s heartaches, and there were plenty.
My husband’s father was a man of integrity and heart. He was a self-made man and believed in helping others get a leg up. He adored his son and deeply loved his wife. I could see in him the strength and integrity I found so attractive in my husband.
The two of them told us many times that the secret to a good relationship is communication. The affection they displayed for one another was just the frosting on the cake. When my father-in-law was nearing the end of his life, he told us he wasn’t through talking to his wife, yet. He still had many things he wanted to share with her. Losing him left such a void in our lives, but all that he believed in still stands.
Over the years, my in-laws have loved me, enveloped me with welcome, support and appreciation. They became my family, my parents. They never ceased to tell me how grateful they were, that I was part of the family. Now, the irony of all this is the fact that I am the one so grateful. I not only gained a loving, faithful and generous husband, but I was given a family who nurtured me, helped to heal my broken heart many times and strengthened me with understanding and acceptance. They made me feel that I had contributed so much to their family and relationships when it is I who gained the most from our union. I never even experienced that kind of loyalty and love within my own immediate family.
Through my in-laws I experienced loyalty, love and commitment that has been the bedrock of our relationship. We have experienced a bonding of the hearts beyond mere companionship. I have experienced the kind of love that God gave Ruth for Naomi. Now, I so deeply understand her plea to her mother-in-law.
“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” Ruth 1:16 (NKJV)
What a unique joy!
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