I remember the first time I met my mother-in-law. She was far from being that to me since I was just the high school girlfriend of her youngest son. Jon invited me to his house for dinner and then we played Trivial Pursuit with his parents. I liked her voice right away. It was soft with a slight southern drawl. It wasn't harsh only subtle. She spoke slowly, carefully. She said it was "delaht-ful" to meet me. I liked the way she said it. I like the goodness that emanated from her voice. Its sound forever echoed in my mind.
It wasn't until years later that I saw her again. Jon brought me back to the old house to see everyone and this time we played Chickenfoot. She was still kind and soft spoken but now I was going to have years to see her true goodness, dedication to her church and God, devotion to her husband, love for her grandkids and quick wit. She was truly a lovely and talented woman.
Once when we were visiting she was knee-deep in piles of jeans. She held up a patchwork of denim that was to be the covering of the quilt on which she was working. She had organized a jean drive so she and some other ladies could make quilts for the needy. She wanted something durable yet soft so it would not wear out so quickly. She was always thinking this way, wanting the best for people. Smiling, she said she only had 10 more to go.
Her deterioration over the past few months have been quick. But before her body and mind succumbed to disease, we made a trip to see her. There were moments of lucidity on our visits, just enough time for her to recognize Jon and tell him what a good baby he was and that she was so happy he was there. I was touched by that sentiment and it summed it all up for me at that moment - what really mattered. And while our hearts are heavy at her passing today, we are thankful that her mind and body are at peace and that her parents will be so happy she is there, with them in heaven.