- Family and Parenting
The Good Daughters-In-Law
Does This Sound Familiar?
Very often I get involved in discussions with friends and co-workers about the wives of their sons. More times than not they are concerned or upset for various reasons regarding how these women are treating their sons. The relationships they reveal are not, what one would think will be, a lifelong commitment. Unfortunately many do end in divorce. I will listen with sincere concern as they share their hearts, for I do understand, because I was once where they are.
I have to admit the first couple of years of me being a mother-in-law where a bit bumpy. Actually it was more like a roller-coaster ride. It’s a three way coaster ... the son, his mom and his wife. My poor son, wanting to please both women, was being pulled from both directions. Not a good thing ... for any of us. I would often cry myself to sleep and then toss and turn the rest of the night.
I was stubborn and so was this new woman who had replaced me as the key woman in my son's life. We were also 150 also miles apart, which made things more difficult. In retrospect that was probably a good thing. It was an extremely tough lesson for me, to admit to the fact that my son was ... first ... her husband and ... second ... my son. In that order!
Thankfully, we finally grew passed all that stress and strain and now it’s only a memory. By the time the second son got married, I had learned how the game is played. Fortunately for this new wife, I was more mature and knew it was a good and natural thing for her to be the number one woman in my son's life. Also she had been involved with our family for about five years before they said their vows and we had a good relationship.
Now, I am a blessed woman! Not only do I have two great sons, that love, respect and help their Momma, I also have two equally great Daughters-in-Law. It was a prayer of mine, when they were just babes, that my sons would be wise in choosing their spouses, their lifelong best friends and soul-mates. My loving, heavenly Father has chosen to honor that prayer!
Just Had To Share About This Awesome Women!
This story is a tribute to these two awesome women! I’d like to share some bits and pieces about these two women who have chosen to spend their lives with my sons. I didn’t know which gal to write about first so I have mixed them together in this one story. I flipped a coin to determine which one would be mentioned first. I also discussed with each of them what name to use. I certainly wouldn't want to be accused of playing favorites.
Renee’ (not her real name) and my son have been together, as a couple, for about fifteen years. Jewel (not her real name either) and my other son have been together for about twenty years. Each of this women are great companions to my sons. I like to say "she completes my son and makes him a better man". I could not be prouder or happier they are in my life and I consider myself blessed to have their love and respect. Hopefully, they will never refer to me as the evil, dreaded mother-in-law. After all, one day I might need them to take care of me.
Loving, Strong, Generous, Tenacious, Dedicated, Compassionate, Determined and Witty too!
Just a few of the many adjectives that describe both of these women.
All of these adjectives are just a few of Renee’s and Jewel’s many qualities. Sometimes it difficult to wrap up what a person is ... with words, but as a writer that’s what we do. Actually, as a people, that’s what we do, don’t we?
It’s really kind of interesting when I think about how to describe each of these women. As great as they both are they are not that close to each other in their relationship. Even though many of the their qualities are the same they manifest these attributes quiet differently. Interesting when the same word can be used to describe two different people who are so different from each other. About the only thing these two women have in common ... is their mother-in-law.
Like their husbands, Renee and Jewel are products of divorced parents and also grandparents. I’m not sure why, but along with my sons, they are determined to end the vicious, life wrenching cycle of divorce. Perhaps it's because they each have witnessed and lived first hand, more times than they can recall, how and what divorce can do to a family. Marriage can be a struggle and with divorce so easy to execute, I applaud all four of them for their great stick-to-it-tive-ness!
Renee’ and Jewel are loyal, supportive and conscientious wifes. Because of this they are also wonderful daughters-in-law. I have always disliked that word so I have chosen to call the wifes of my sons, instead, “Daughters-in-Love”. They are my daughters, because they love my sons!
Regarding their relationships with my sons, I believe they are good for each other. They share many of the same life’s goals. They are dependable to their families; friends are valuable to them; they are pretty laid back kind of people. And let’s not forget their passion for football, unfortunately for two different teams in red, Alabama and Arkansas.
Even though they are a unit …a couple … a pair they are also both unique, distinctive individuals. They are not perfect by any means, but I will have to say there’s much more good going on than bad so this mom is proud and blessed!
More Stories About My Sons!
- From Boys to Good Men...A Mother's Pride
Growing up boys to be "Good Men" is not always an easy task for single mothers, but it can be done as this story proves.
- Little League Baseball & Friendly Brotherly Competition
Brothers, close in age, both playing baseball, learn it's ok to be competitors. And somehow mom survives it the summer the rivalry began.
Strong and Caring!
A few months ago, Renee’ posted a short comment on Facebook and she sounded emotionally drained and exasperated. I couldn't get it off my mind the next day. Finally I connected with her by phone later that evening, to find out what was going on.
Renee’s an RN. She was working with terminally ill children. For a few years, she’d been working at a small hospital, usually in the ER. Even though she enjoyed the work, she’d been longing to work with children at this particular hospital and finally it was a reality. Because the children are usually terminal and long term patients, the staff can’t help but build a bond and relationship with these children.
Thus, the reason for her weariness. She had come to realize, as much as she loves nursing and children, she was not the right person for the job. The attachments to these children and knowing they will most likely not recover from their diseases, had become, for her ... overwhelming. After a day of caring for these children and all they experienced, she would go home to her healthy, energy charged 2 year old son and just cry and did not want to let him go. She knew, as any loving mother in that type of situation would, her child could be one of those very ill children.
It’s tough when you realize that something you’d been longing for ... is just not right for you. Making that kind of decision and admitting you have to make a change, can cause feelings of failure and inadequacies. It’s actually a type of grief because you’re losing something very important to you. Renee’ made it through that rough ride … for that’s the type of woman she is ... Compassionate as well as Strong.
Renee’ always knew she wanted to be a nurse and proof of this desire was demonstrated by the long road to getting her degrees. She was in school off/on for about ten years. Almost always working a full time job during her studies. But she never gave up on her dream … her Passion … her devotion to the craft of nursing. Like a Tenacious bulldog with steadfast Determination she never let go of her dream. The weekend she received her decrees (RN and BS) the whole family celebrated with her. It was a joyous time in our family!
I’ll never forget going shopping with my son deciding on gifts to recognize her accomplishments. Not an easy task for such a long awaited ending, to seeing a dream finally fulfilled. Shopping is something neither of us really don’t like to do, but this outing was an adventure. I enjoyed being a part of trying to decide on something that would display to Renee’ our feelings of all she’d gone through to get to this mountain top. Of course, there really is no material gift that can symbolize the pride we felt in our hearts for this woman. But, we finally did make our choices and when she received them I believe she was pleased.
Nurses are a special breed of folks. If you've ever been on the receiving end of bad nursing you know how how true this is. A bad nurse is someone who is doing a job. A good nurse, a real nurse … does so wholeheartedly with fervor and dedication. Renee is a nurse. That special breed of person who envelopes herself around her passion of Caring for others. She gives to her patients each day …a part of herself and then somehow refuels to do it again the next day.
Enthusiastic and Dedicated
Jewel is a good choice for my other daughter-in-love’s name, for that’s what she is in so many ways. A Jewel is something that is precious. It’s a sparkly rock with many facets of intense color and brightness. Something to hold on to for it will always increase in worth. Like the gemstone, Jewel is multifaceted with many interest and desires. She has a colorful personality and is precious to anyone who’s lucky to have her in their life.
Jewel is also in the care giving profession. She’s a Licensed Massage Therapist. Even though this was not a long time desire of hers, once she decided to pursue this career, she focused herself and met her goals. She’s a woman that has much Determination when you makes her mind up on something.
For almost nine years Jewel has been Dedicated to her craft. You can hear her Passion and Enthusiasm about what she’s doing with her life, every time she talks about it. Having been on the receiving end of how she can use her hands, I also know she is very good at what she does. She is not only excellent at her craft but she also believes she’s where she should be at this time in her life.
Jewel gives of herself to so many others. She is Generous beyond her resources but mostly her time. She and my son have not given birth to any of their own children but there are many children, some now grown, she refers to as “The Kids”. I never know if she’s referring to nieces, nephews or neighbors. At many intervals over the last twenty years she has offered her home to shelter others. I’ve observed her interactions with some of these children, mostly the nieces and nephews that have lived with them, often for very long periods of time and it’s not just an Aunt relationship but more of a parent. They currently have three Godsons ages 4, 2 and 1 who spend every other weekend with them. Anyone who knows her will certainly say, Jewel is a very Loving woman.
Blessings To Have Them Around You!
A few years ago, my dad was living with me before he passed away. He had become frail in many ways. He had problems with corns on his feet. Renee’ worked for a podiatrist (even before she got her RN) whose office was close to my house. Every couple of weeks she would come over, during her lunch break, and take care of Daddy’s feet as well as massage his lower legs. She would joke around with him in her Witty way as she took care of his feet. When she left Daddy was always smiling from ear to ear! Renee touched him, not only with her hands, but more importantly, he was assured he was Loved by her. An important thing for an elderly person, who had given so much of himself to others throughout his life, that was coming to a close.
A couple of years ago my aunt was going through the last phases of cancer. It had been a long fight and she was getting to the point she needed more care. She did not want to live her last few days in a nursing home environment. She had no living children or grandchildren. This aunt, my son and his wife, Jewel, had formed over the last many years, a very special bond and relationship. Jewel and my son promised she would not die alone. It’s important to note also that, my son was struggling with some serious health issues; it was Christmas season; and she was being moved to another state about 250 miles away. Even though it was a group effort with many folks helping out, Jewel was the driving force behind getting my aunt moved into their home. It took her just a few days to get equipment and supplies in place, new doctors on board, and people lined up as volunteers to help with the care-giving. I was amazed (and still am) at how quickly it all came together. It did not happen on it’s on. It was Jewel’s Dedicated Determination, that gave my aunt a peaceful and loving departure from this world, a couple of months later.
These are not simple acts for these two women but rather a way of life for them. It speaks volumes about what kind of Champions they are to so many others! They don’t do what they do, to be in the spotlight or because they are searching for glory. Renee’ did what she did for Daddy because she Loved her Grandpa-in-Love. Jewel has sacrificed for children because she saw a need and she’s Compassionate. They each know what it is to be Family! A simple sentence that has endless meanings.
A Great Mom!
As Gramma to Renee’s only child and my only grandchild, it’s not an easy task to wrap words around my thoughts of her as a Mommy to my Happy Roustabout. I know I will never, ever have to be concerned that he is anything but a well cared for little boy. She loves him with a Zest that is unmatched and doesn't care who knows it. At the same time she does not let him rule, all the time anyway. She and my son are rearing him to respect others and allowing his imagination to be explored. They encourage him to care for others, by the way they live their lives. She does not go running after him if he gets a few bruises. He is, as she says, “all boy and his father’s son”. That's all part of him exploring his world. Brody is and always has been a happy child. He would not be so if he was not loved beyond question in his home by both his parents. I believe Renee’ thinks that her womanhood is now complete because she is a Mother.
In Closing ...
So, how do I end a story like this? It has to come to a close somehow, even though my love and respect for Renee’ and Jewel never will end. This little story to honor them must end now (can't have their heads swelling from too much praise). One final thought about these two women must be said. Renee loves! Jewel loves! Two simple words, but whoa what they mean! Think about them for just a minute. Replace your name for her’s. _________ Loves.
Thankfully, I will always be able to continue to add adjectives to my list of words, describing these awesome women, better known from this point on as, my Daughters-in-Love.