In Honor of My Other MothersPosted Saturday, May 14, 2011, at 12:38 AM
I have been pretty fortunate to have two great Mother-in-Laws in my life. My first mother-in-law Ruth and I have continued to grow closer during the past few years. And David's mother, Merva is truly one of the most gentle, unassuming people that you would ever want to meet.
One of the things that I always admired about Ruth is her perseverance. At the age of 50, she went back to school to become a nurse. Her life has not always been easy and there has been a great deal of sorrow too. I love her laughter and sense of humor!
My children love their Grandma Ruth. When Courtney was little he called her Jenkos Grandma. Her last name was Jenkins and he got things a little backwards at first.
The years after my divorce from Ruth's son were sometimes difficult. But Ruth and I were able to keep the lines of communication open and we began to get to know each other in a different way . Lack of money and distance made visits rare for a few years. But I think that the best visit we ever had was when Ruth came to Independence and stayed with me and David in our home.
No one wins in a divorce, no matter what the circumstances are. The truth is that families are fractured and wounded in a divorce. I will always appreciate the encouragement and love Ruth has given me.
David's mother, Merva is my calm in the storm. Her example of gentility and peaceful demeanor has been a great inspiration to me for over 20 years. She always introduces me as her "Daughter-in-Love". How fortunate my children are to have so many loving grandmothers!
Merva's home has been a refuge for many people who are in need. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have learned many life lessons from her wise counsel. My own grandchildren love her dearly. They get pretty excited about going to see Grandma Bird.
I remember the first time that I met her; she gave me the biggest hug and made me feel instantly welcome. Merva and Ivan raised 6 sons and two daughters. David, my husband was the last one to marry.
I never got to meet Ivan, he had passed away about two years before I started dating David. Together, he and Merva made quite a team. They shared many interests including their love of God and service to their fellow man. They wrote many articles and poems together during their years of marriage. All of their children reflect the respect and love that they had for each other.
I appreciate her great influence in the way that she raised my husband. His kind and thoughtful ways has brought great joy to me over the years.
Both of my Other Mothers have made a huge impact in my life. Even though, they have lived very different lives, the strength that they both possess continues to inspire their children and grandchildren.
I have been so very blessed in my life to know both of these women. My life has been like a book written in two parts. Each part has produced a different kind of happiness during my adulthood. Some of the pages are a little tattered and worn, but the binding of love continues to hold every experience together.
In this life of tug-a-war, where families are wounded and suffering, we need to remind ourselves that being a blessing is far more important than expecting a blessing. I have riches beyond measure because of the people who have passed through my life.
I am so thankful for the "Mothers" in my life. They each hold a special place in my heart and I will always treasure the memories that we have created together.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.