My Mom-in-Love and My Mom

I started our Place Called Simplicity just because I love to write and thought it would be nice to chronicle life’s journey for my family.  My hope was that one day they would would read to it to their children and get to know their Mimi who loved them so much.
Somehow the Lord had other plans for our Place Called Simplicity.  As I told someone the other day, “I promise you, there is no one more surprised about what God has done here, than me.”  
Much of what I write, is stuff that would pertain to the general population.  Yet, this really will one day be for my family…and so I have to share the family stuff…with the rest of the stuff.  And even as I type that the Lord reminds me that in grieving our loss, there are many of you grieving as well.  
I confess right here and now that today has been a very difficult day.  Dw and I have been married for almost 34 years and together officially for 36 years next month.  
Before Dw and I started dating he said to me, “My mom is a really nice lady, too bad you’ll never get to meet her.”  I remember being rather annoyed at his flippant comment {seriously, how can men say some things. Seriously?}.  I thought, “Thanks alot. I guess he doesn’t think this is going to go anywhere and we haven’t even had our first date.  What’s the point of even having a first date?  Weirdo.”  
That was a Friday afternoon that he said that.  We went out on our first date a few hours later.  Surprisingly, he must have had a lot of fun cause he asked me to go out with him the very next night – Saturday.  But I already had a long-planned date with another young man {I blush to think that now.  Seriously, how funny is that?  After 36 years together I can’t picture myself with anyone else.  Sooo crazy to even say that I had a date with a guy from my senior class.  Jeepers, even had a hot flash as I typed that paragraph. haha}  
Well we went to church together that Sunday and spent Sunday afternoon together…and during that afternoon date, he said, “So ummmm, I have to go to my hometown and trade cars with my dad…do you want to ride with me? I would really like you to meet my mom and dad.”    HA!  Friday he said, “too bad you’ll never meet them and two days later he was asking me to drive to a tiny town an hour and a half outside Buffalo to meet his parents!”  Amazing what can come out of the same boys mouth just two days later!  {And they say girls are hard to figure out!} 
I was still in high school and I wondered what my mom would say, but as it turns out, she agreed to let me skip school to go to meet his parents.   I remember the winding, hilly roads to his hometown and loving the talk we were having the whole way.  He was so comfortable to be with.  Curving through the little town of Perry to an old farmhouse sitting on a little teeny piece of land in the center of town on Grove Street.  I had always wanted to live in a farmhouse and I was overcome with the privilege of going inside it and meeting this handsome blonde boy’s parents. 
We found his mom folding clothes at the kitchen table.
His dad was working in the barn on a project {just like he always did.} 
They both were so very nice and easy to talk to.
His mom made us a picnic which we took to Letchworth Park {known as the Grand Canyon of the east}.  Letchworth was only about 20 minutes from his parents home.  
On the drive to Letchworth Dw told me that his dad had said, “She seems real nice, but she’s awful young isn’t she?”  {Dw was 21.} Dw assured him that I was not young at all –  I was senior in high school!  Oh my.   {I had not told Dw that I had just turned 17.  I thought he would ditch me.  I didn’t tell him for months.} 
And that was the beginning of being part of their family.
My home had been tragically dysfunctional and abuse was rampant.  That little farmhouse was a place of peace and a beautiful escape from my home.  Any chance we got we would run there.  
When my parents divorced and sold the home I had grown up in, Dw asked me if I wanted to go back to Tonawanda and just walk through it before the new owners closed on it.  I assured him I did not.  Truth be told I could not muster up many memories that were worth treasuring from that home.
Yet, my in-loves home?  Totally different.  A teeny-tiny slice of heaven to my soul.  I loved that place and I loved how welcomed I felt.  I loved the smell.  I loved that my mom-in-love was always making something in the kitchen and I loved doing the dishes after any meal with my father-in-love {it was kind of like our little time together}.  He was my buddy.  Not a huge talker, but he would answer almost anything I asked him.  He loved me dearly and the Lord knew how much I needed to have a father who loved me.  
Some Saturday mornings we would call their home and say, “Can we come for pancakes for lunch?”  We’d throw our growing family in the car and dash the hour and half to their home…where they would be waiting for us…with arms open wide.
When Dw and I decided God was calling us to close his law practice and head to seminary they were grief stricken.  How could we move so far away?  I look back now and wonder how we ever did it too.  It was the Lord’s directing, but my heart today is grieving the memories we missed out as we followed the Lord to Virginia to seminary, then to pastorates in Virginia, North Carolina, back to Virginia and finally to Colorado.  
We were in our second pastorate in North Carolina and we were still receiving weekly letters {not kidding, every.single.week} from his dad saying, “Please will you move back to New York?  Couldn’t you pastor a church near us?”  
 My eyes well with tears. 
 They loved us so.
They wanted us near.  
We missed them but we felt the Lord had us where we were.
Difficult things to think about at this time.
Missing them so.
Knowing that there are no more opportunities to make memories.
Twenty years living far away from each other.  
And yes, being truthful, wondering what it would have 
been like to move back and pastor near them.
Oh how our hearts ache at the loss.
And lastly, this morning, the majority of you don’t know this, but my mom left.
She had moved from Colorado with us to live.
But living with us was difficult.
We are noisy and 
there are lots of us.
She loves us and she loves the kids tons 
but she was also lonely for her lifelong friends in New York. 
So she moved back to Buffalo to spend the rest of her years near one 
of my other brothers and the friends she misses dearly.
One of my brothers flew in this morning and picked her up.
They pulled out just a couple of hours ago.
Dw buried his mom in New York today
and we kissed and hugged my precious mom good-bye.

The kids have cried.  I’ve bawled.
So many thoughts swirling around.
Graham said to me a few minutes ago, 
“Mom, don’t you think it’s so weird that we buried Grandma today 
and Grandma Bonnie moved to New York today?”
I could only answer through tears,
“Very weird Graham, very weird.”
So my thoughts at this moment?
Love your parents.
Don’t wait to go spend time with them.
Don’t think, “next year”.
Life is short.
Even long lives are too short in the big scheme of things.
Tell your parents you love them today.

Live a life with no regrets.
Emma speaking at the funeral this morning.  
We watched via Skype.
Dw did the service.
It was beautiful.
My mom-in-love would have been so proud.
I can’t help but think that maybe {just maybe} the Lord
 told her how loved she was by all of us.

54 thoughts on “My Mom-in-Love and My Mom

  1. It is so important to spend time with those you love. I took care of my mom and I miss her so much. Time is so short. I am so sorry your mom is moving back to Ne York and that your Mom-in-love is in Heaven.


  2. Oh…your post stirs up so much emotion for me…I too, adore my in-laws…all of them. My parents on the other hand…well, they live just two hours away and want nothing to do with my or my sweet boys. They have basically disowned me because I've been "brainwashed" with all that "Jesus freak" stuff. As much as I would love to have parents to spend time with, sadly, it would take a miracle. A huge one. SO much disfunction, mess and hurt that would have to be cleaned up…I can feel your grief, just for different reasons. I'll say a prayer for you today. xo

  3. Dear Sweet Linny…sending lots of love your way today with plenty of prayers as you grieve…the death of your MIL and the leaving of your mom. God is holding you in His arms.

  4. So, did you and your mother make amends? How did that go? If that's too personal don't worry. I was just curious. I have some 'issues' with my mother and upbringing as well. I'm always curious how adults handle their parents when their parents had 'issues.' I'm better than I used to be.

  5. Wow Linny what sweet precious things you have to say about your in laws… I love it… You give us all great reminders to seize the day and make the most of those special loved ones, especially when we don't get to see them that often. ( I can relate to that living away from both of our families… it is hard) Thank you for sharing Linny. Praying in earnest for you all as you say goodbye to DW's mom and as your mom moves. Praying for the Lord to comfort your hearts!

  6. I've been silent lately but I want to tell you…I've been praying for your family through his difficult time. Your family has been heavy on my heart. We have had several funerals over the last couple weeks and it is so hard to imagine the feeling of loss with each. One of the funerals was for a friend who was 28. He had been in a 4 wheeler accident and his mom had taken care of him day and night. His body decided it couldn't fight any longer. Another is a friend from our church who buried her 50 yr old husband who died from a short 'unknown' illness. My cousin buried her grandpa today. Lastly, our Pastor's mother in love passed away Thursday and her funeral was today. I have tried imagining the pain each of them felt as they buried a son, a mother, a husband. Each of which would be unbearable pain. Sorry for the rambling…just thought I'd share! Much love to the Saunders family.

  7. Oh Linny big hugs! That is alot to handle in one day. Your mom-in-love is just how I want to be with my kids and their spouses. Open arms, open heart, always room….always.
    What a precious woman to have loved and been loved by!

    My boy left today for Army bootcamp and my heart is aching… So thankful for the memories and love to hold me over until I can hug his neck again. I will be praying for you as you continue to grieve and heal. I keep imagining God holding me close as I sob and wiping up these flowing tears…
    Much love!

  8. I cry as I am reading this. My parents are full time rv'ers with a base in benson AZ. I was raised in ga and still live here. I miss my mom dearly! We have not always had the best relationship. I was abused by my dad. My mom has always been a strong woman. At the age of 35, one would think that I would be use to change… It is never easy for me. My favorite cousin and her two babies are moving back to Alaska tomorrow. It is a sad time in my heart. Please add me to your prayer list. Thx the ga lurker.

  9. I definitely know about living in the moment and loving your parents. Mine have been gone for two decades now and I still miss them every day. I still have my mother-in-law but she's slowly going (Alzheimers…for years…doesn't remember anything.) I brought my former neighbor flowers a couple of weeks ago (she was in a hospice) and related the story of my mom who said to bring her flowers when she's alive to enjoy them (not when she's dead.) I told my neighbor that I brought my mom flowers all the time (and didn't put any on her casket when she died.) Of course, I brought her lots of flowers at the same time to enjoy in her room but didn't realize I'd be attending her funeral a week later. Life is short.

    Your parents-in-law sounded lovely! I'm sorry your mom moved back. My older daughter is in a situation she shouldn't be in but won't move home (even though it'd be 'better' for her) because we're loud and noisy too. Some people can't take that kind of life… *hug*

  10. Very Hard and emotional stuff – praying for that place in your mind and spirit where it can all peacefully rest..yes there's sorting and sifting, but I know the LORD will help you find so much good! And right smack in the middle is where you'll find Jesus!

  11. Ah Linny such a heart touching post for me. I live on the other side of the country from my parents. I talk to my mama every day!

    Holding y'all close today as you said too many goodbyes in one day.

    Hugs to you all,

  12. Praying for you and your family as you grieve. What wonderful memories you'll have of your mother-in-love! My Dad went home to Heaven in 1987, and my Mom went to be with the Lord just two years ago. I couldn't agree with you more to love on your parents and spend as much time with them.

  13. oh what a sweet relationship you were blessed to have with your in-loves!! and,oh,I ache for the heartache you are feeling now!! May you be comforted and given peace during this by all those sweet memories((HUGS)) from TN

  14. Thank you for this, for sharing your heart. I am praying for your family as you grieve these huge losses.

    These are good reminders. We live far from family. We often feel a tug to go back, but also fear because of the hard and damaging relationships. We are working to establish decent boundaries, which puts a temporary strain in relationships. It is all hard.

  15. I couldn't agree with you more about telling your parents how much you love them. I live in the same town as my mom and dad- just 5 minutes away and I don't think I could be any farther. I love them so much. My mom is my best friend. They love my husband and son just as much as me. I'm so blessed to have them as parents and thank the Lord everyday for them.
    Thank you Linny for the sweet reminder about how amazing parents are.

  16. While I have no idea what it's like to lose a parent. My husband went through a similar thing with his precious grandmother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers and 2 and half years later she was ushered into heaven. We were 12 hours away for the last 6 years of her life. God moved us to Huntsville, AL the month after she died, and we are now 6 hours closer. She stepped in after his mama abandoned him and his sisters. He questioned God many times after Memaw died. His Grandaddy joined his Memaw last year. My husband got to spend their last nights on earth with each of them. I am so grateful God gave him that. When Grandaddy went to heaven, we said he is with his Savior and his Pud, Memaw's nickname. I don't understand everything God makes us walk through but I feel like if he gives us 1 person to help then our journey was worth it.

    God Bless you and your DW during this difficult transition.


  17. My heart aches for you all. 🙁

    My dad has been gone 2 1/2 years and Kevin's dad has been gone 11 years, and yet it seems like just yesterday they left us. And then at times, it simply seems like forever they have been gone. Oh, how we miss them.

    Sending you all our hugs today,
    janet and gang

  18. Oh, Linny, I'm so sorry that this is such a tough time right now. Praying for your family!! I know it's hard to live away from family. My sweet sis and her family are visiting from CA right now. Treasuring every moment. Thanks for the encouragement to spend time with our parents. We are only given so much time to make lasting memories with them. Love you friend!!

  19. i am so sorry that your heart and your families hearts are hurting. it sure seems like strange timing for your mom to have to leave today.knowing how much God loves you makes me think there is a reason and it all fits into his master plan. Hugs

  20. Knew I should have got the box of tissues BEFORE I read this blog post. Beautifully written and had to send my mum a text as soon as I'd finished reading it!
    Love, hugs and prayers to you all. xxx xox xxx

  21. ((((((((((LINNY))))))))))
    I just want to wrap you up in a huge hug!! I am so sorry you are feeling such pain. I am praying for your grieving heart. Thank you for sharing so openly. Thanks be to our Father for the fact that through Jesus we will have eternity of memory building as one big family on the restored earth…. AMEN
    then there will be no tears <3

  22. So sorry for your loss. I hope the Lord comforts you with the memories you have. 🙂
    btw, So neat that mention Lechworth. I remember camping there as a kid and then going to Darien Lake to ride the rides. And also, Lechworth may be CALLED the grand canyon of the east, but I grew up near the REAL grand canyon of the east: the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon near Wellsboro, PA. 😉

  23. I so understand where you're coming from. We're in Oregon. My parents are in Georgia. They are the only grandparents our daughter has, and while it wasn't always a particularly fun home to grow up in, they are wonderful grandparents. We, however, unless God writes it in the sky to move back, love Oregon and want to stay here. Plus my husband's entire family is nearby. He's the youngest in a large family himself, and while his parents are with Jesus, he has siblings who love our baby girl dearly. Still, sometimes it's hard they don't see here as much as we'd all like. Fortunately, they saved quite a bit during their careers so they have the means to fly out here several times (read every three months) a year when they aren't on a mission trip somewhere.

  24. Oh I wish I could give you all a great big hug; truly. You heart is so beautiful Linny; you can just feel it as you write. My family and i have been making more of an effort to see my Dad as much as possible, he is on O2 24 hours a day and well you just never know…i cherish every moment.
    Love you guys and God bless you..may you feel the comfort of Jesus and your Father's arms around you during this time.
    Carrie and Family

  25. Thank you Linny for this reminder.. I left my Momma for what would eventually be to live on the other side of the world right after I turned 20. Our hearts ached at the goodbye and they still ache at the distance between, and there is definitely a part of me that wonders often how easy it would be to just pack up and move back to our small KY town and settle down there, but my parents and I both know.. that that was/is not the Lord's calling upon my life, just as it was the case for you and DW.

    Praying for you and your family during this difficult time of both grieving your loss, but also rejoicing as your Mom-in-love is now in paradise praising our Awesome Creator Father face-to-face.

    ~ To God Be the Glory!

  26. Oh Linny, I ache for you. It's difficult enough to be apart from family, but especially at times like these. I have no words…but will pray for your peace and comfort.

    My parents live in Japan as missionaries, and my in-laws in Russia as missionaries. The miles can be oh so difficult. I ache to live near them, to have our children around them, yet I know they are following His calling. I long for heaven, as I'm sure you do too.

    Hugs and love from Missouri,

  27. Lynnie,
    Im so sorry to hear of BOTH of your losses. I am praying for you. Praying that the Lord of Lords and King of Kings would comfort and console you. May He hold each and every one of you and say something to the depths of each of your individual hearts. May DW be blessed as he remembers his mother and the joy she brought to his heart. May the Lord speak to his grieving and hold him tenderly as he/ you all walk through this season of grief. ~Trina Scoda

  28. So sorry for your losses. We lost my mother-in-love and father-in-law 9 and 6 years ago respectively. My parents live close and we see each other as often as possible. We have an opportunity to spend every other Sunday night visiting with friends. Knowing my parents won't always be there, we visit with them instead. They love us and their grandchildren and 100% supported all of our adoptions.

  29. Sending hugs through the computer today Linny. I can only imagine how your heart is hurting right now with these two losses. Praying for the Lord's comfort for all of you right now.

  30. So sorry about DW's mom and your mom moving. We live one state away from my mom and far away from my husbands parents. I know how hard it is to travel, flying is too expensive and driving is difficult and expensive also. Praying you have a blessed day with more good memories than sad.

  31. My condolences to you and your family. I know that sounds empty and like the expected thing to say…but I understand and am grieving with you. Blessings!

  32. Oh Linny Im sitting here in tears. Im so sorry for the loss of your Mom in Love and your mother moving.

    I have always been super close to my family, but now my husband and I live 4 hours away from my family. I miss them all the time. I wish we lived closer and I want them close when we bring our kids home from Colombia, but I know it simply cant happen. I often think of all the time I am missing out on not being near my parents, youngest sister and extended family. Its hard!

    But I do know that our strength comes from God and he will be a lover, provider and comforter to us in times of need! As I was reading my Bible this morning Psalms 71 stuck with me – It talks about Gods constant help. As physical things happen to us we realize our need for MORE of God.

  33. Oh Linny,
    One BIG HUG for you and your family,
    just because i have no words,
    my heart aches for your loss.

    I'll hug my parents a little tighter as they come tomorrow to bring back 3 of my girls
    (they picked them up friday because i fell scik with pneumonia)

    Love Adriana

  34. My condolences on the loss of your mother in love. Also, that your mother felt that she needed to leave. I wonder if she had a difficult time seeing the grieving. Maybe the loss of the DW mother was too much for your mother to see affecting the family?

    My prayers for the family. Losses are difficult yet we rejoice in the knowledge that she is not suffering and with our Lord and Savior!

  35. Sweet friend, I am so, so sorry that all of your hearts are hurting right now. You are so right – no matter how long you live, life is still short. I try to remember that, but need to be reminded so often. Praying for you all today, that our God of all comfort will bind up your broken hearts and sing His songs of joy over you. Much love to you all.

  36. Can't believe I made it through the whole post with no tears.. until I got to the part about your "thoughts at this moment". My mom found out a week ago that she has breast cancer. It's such a difficult thing to think about. Lots of platitudes.. it's early, she's healthy… but it is still a reality that this could be a difficult season that we didn't/couldn't plan for. Thank you for this lovely reminder.

  37. My dad will be having a very complicated and serious surgery in ~10 days. I will be with him, at this hospital several hours away, but having been feeling guilty about missing so much work to do so. Thank you for giving me 'permission' to be with my dad.
    Prayers being said for you and your family.

  38. I boohooed most of the way through this post, it touched my heart in a big way. We are a military family on our second overseas tour (in a row) and oh how we miss our families dearly, especially now with two little ones (both born overseas). It can be really overwhelming and disheartening sometimes. I am so thankful that we have a Lord who is always working behind the scenes on our behalf! Praying for all of you!

  39. Thank you for this reminder….my mom is 90 and lives with us, but she has a fair degree of dementia and it can be trying. Thank you for reminding me to treasure her while she's here! So sorry for your losses.

  40. She knew you loved her. That's why she wanted you close. I have also learned, through the loss of my dad, that life is so short. The time we have with our parents is short. The time we have with our kids is short. The time we have with our spouses is short. In the hurry of it all, we have to consciously choose what kind of memories we want to make with our loved ones. They can remember the fighting and stress. Or they can remember the smiles and love. Hugs to you today.

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