Last month was the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s loss with her battle to breast cancer twenty years ago. She was one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever known, and I’m grateful that I was privileged to have her as part of my life. I dedicate this poem to her.
My dearest Mother-in-Law,
I’ll always remember the day that we met,
When you welcomed me at the very outset.
Your loving ways and kind heart always came through
In each word and each action that you would do.
Because of these things you were easy to love.
You were a mother-in-law that I was proud of.
All the family adored you; you were a treasure,
And being with you was indeed such a pleasure.
We were all so happy until we heard one fateful day,
“I have breast cancer,” were the only words you could say.
Then you gathered your composure, looked at us and said,
“Now let’s not be sad – why not be hopeful instead?”
You faced each day bravely with a smile on your face,
And you endured every procedure with dignity and grace.
You never said a word on the magnitude of your pain,
Although I’m sure it was difficult not to complain.
Then we received news that the cancer had spread,
And we were all filled with a feeling of dread.
Why was this happening to someone so good?
“It is God’s will,” you said – yes – you understood.
“Let’s not waste the days full of sadness and despair,
Let’s fill them with memories and good times we can share.”
Those were your wishes and so we complied.
We played games and talked, sitting at your bedside.
We watched as you weakened with each passing day,
And we knew all we could do at that point was pray.
We dreaded the moment when you’d have to leave.
We dreaded the moment when we’d have to grieve.
At last the day arrived when God called you home to rest,
Saddened to see you leave, we knew it was for the best.
Your struggle was finally over; you’d have pain no more.
But best of all, you’d be with God, Whom you’d come to adore.
When you breathed your last, together we all cried,
For the beautiful woman who had just died.
Suddenly we realized it was another special day:
It was Mother’s Day when God called you home to stay.
I thank God for bringing you into my life;
For allowing me to be my husband’s wife.
And in the not too-far distant future away,
I know that I will see you again one day.
Your loving Daughter-in-Law,