Susan was my mother-in-law.  The mother of four children, she raised three daughters and one son.  I married her “little boy.”  When we were four years into our marriage, Susan was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer.  It was a shock for her, for us, and we rallied.  She rallied.  What should have been months was about one year.  Her life was lived to the full.  She loved her children and family.  We remember her today especially, as it is her birthday.

We still need her wisdom.  Her talents were beyond compare.  She was a mother, and her children and grandchildren wish we had a little more time to spend…

watching football curled up on the couch,

eating her homemade cookies (I have her recipe books, I have tried and failed to make any comparable cookie),

playing a round of golf,

watching her delicately knit,

discussing a good book,

eating her prime rib roast at a holiday feast,

watching the sun rise at the beach, or

sipping a coffee or tea with her on the back porch of our homes.

We cling to memories of the past, and the wisdom she shared while here.  Her talents and gifts cannot be duplicated, but we can remember her as we snuggle in her knit blankets crafted by her hands.  When we see butterflies, I tell our children that it could be Grandma Susan coming by for a visit to see them play.  Oh, how she would have loved to play with and speak wisdom to the the hearts and minds of her four children and 10 grandchildren!  My eyes brim with tears now as I write.

Tears roll down on cheeks, but we know our pain is temporary and her rest is eternal.  Our work as mothers is temporary…God ordained.  Our children grow up, and they go on to become mothers and fathers.  Generations continue, and when we focus on the Father’s gifts of grace we truly can face the sad days with peace.  He is our strength, and our parents’ wisdom will always echo sweetly in our hearts.  Memories hold fast.  We love you Susan, and we will remember you today and always.  I pray our sons grow to be men like their father.  You raised him well, thank you.

Proverbs 4

New King James Version (NKJV)

Security in Wisdom

4 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun,[a]
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Photo Credit

A mother’s love is like an island
In life’s ocean vast and wide,
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the restless, rising tide. –Helen Steiner Rice (A Mother’s Love)


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