When Mark and I met, I'd been bartending and going to a local bible college. Mark's parents were both Christians, coming from a strong baptist background. The first time Mark told them about me, he described me as five years older than himself with some gray hair and a bartender. This was a joke through the years of what they were expecting, but they put their arms around me and welcomed me into their family the first time I met them.
Mark's mom always reminded me a little bit of Scarlett O'Hara. She was a 'southern lady'. Never saw her when she didn't look put together. Her clothes were always perfect, her nails were perfect, her make-up perfect and her hair, seriously, her hair was always perfect. Her voice was always soft, and it should go without saying that her manners, well, a southern lady through and through.
I'd asked my mom-in-law to accompany me on a cruise a few years ago. Seven days sharing a room with the bathroom the size of a hall closet and we did nothing but laugh. It was one of the best times I've ever had. We made friends with people from both our age groups, we took wine tasting classes, we drank and we gambled. I think I may have enjoyed it more than the cruises I took with my husband and kids. My mom-in-law could have a good time.
I'm not one to mourn death because I know without a doubt where one passes over to, and it's nothing to mourn but something to rejoice. My mom-in-law believed as I did, we discussed it many times, the joy of being in the presence of God. I rejoice knowing that she is with our Lord, reunited with her loved ones who'd passed before her and look forward to being with her again. However, I know the void her children will feel with her absence here and for that I'm truly sorry. I'm also sorry that the boys and I never got to hear her laugh, feel her arms around us or tell her that we loved her again. I will continue, as I have these past three years, to miss her. But, I know that she is full of joy, probably dancing and praising along side the angels and, as we all long to be, she is home.