breaking the silence

I haven’t blogged in so long, I’m not sure I know how to do this.

But, this week, I have some things I want to say.  Things I want to record in some way…. even if it is just in this blog.  Things that just need to be said.

My mother in law passed away this week.  On my 43rd birthday to be exact.  Tonight, as I lay there trying to sleep, I had to remind myself that this wasn’t a dream.  Although it doesn’t seem real.  I keep expecting it to just be a bad dream. 

As I lay there, I calculated where our lives were when she was 43.  The year she turned 43 was 1987.  That was the year Shawn and I had our first child.  I had never really been around children much.  It was so scary for me to have children.  But, Marge was there for me.  She taught me so much about babies… how to change diapers, how to burp them with just the right amount of strength….how to test the bottle temperature on my wrist…. I still sing the lullabies she hummed to my girls as I rock my granddaughter.

She taught me how to love cream cheese on bagels, and how to make instant mashed potatoes.  She made the best cheese soup and broccoli and cheese egg casserole.  I never tasted potato soup until she served it.  She taught me how to be a wife, a mother, a good person.  When Haleigh was a baby, she stayed up night after night with me and this crying newborn, taking turns trying to soothe her crying.  When Lindsey was born, she came to my house and slept on the couch as I struggled with getting any sleep at all.  When Abbie was born, she had a 7 month old of her own, but she still cooked and cleaned for me as I recovered from my hospital stay.  When Emily was born, she made meals and shopped and sewed bibs and blankets.  She made aprons and blankets and sundresses and shorts for my children every year.  I remember how many times she tried to teach me to sew.  But, it never really clicked at all.  I remembered tonight that she worked with me two years ago to make re-useable shopping bags for my girls.  I never finished them… and now won’t know where to even start.

She was a giver.  She loved to out-give everyone.  One year at Christmas, I remember we went over to her house for Christmas Eve, and I was surprised because it was a very simple Christmas.  The kids each had a couple gifts, and Shawn and I left feeling blessed and enjoyed the simplicity.  The next morning, there were big black garbage bags on our back porch filled with gifts…. tons and tons of gifts for our family… “from Santa”.

Marge taught me to love gardening.  She encouraged me to just try to plant things and see if they grow.  She had a green thumb in everything and I was always amazed by how excited she would get when the flowers were getting close to blooming.  She would watch them and watch them and show them off on the day they bloomed. 

She loved music.  All kinds of music.  There are so many songs I learned from her.  Not your average songs… but songs like “Would you like to swing on a star?” and “Tom Thumb” and “Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly”. 

And she laughed.  I miss her laugh.  The last few years and months have been filled with her struggles and health battles.  I don’t remember when she last laughed.

I met this lovely lady when I was 16 years old. 27 years ago.  I’ve known her more of my life than I haven’t known her. She gave me my first Bible.  I treasured that Bible for years and years.  I can’t imagine how many prayers she prayed for me.  And I for her.  Even up to the day she died, I prayed for her.  Just hours before she went to be with the Lord, I laid my head on her hospital bed, and held her hand tightly and prayed that God would heal her.  I prayed that she would walk again.  I prayed that she would run.  And then, still holding her hand, I moved to her ear so she could hear.  And I prayed in her ear – I thanked the Lord for her.  I thanked God for her entire life – her example as a strong woman of God.  Her example of how to love deeply.  Her example of how to be Jesus with skin on to those that surround her.

On June 1, 2011 at 9:05am she breathed her last breath in this world and walked into eternity.  She left this world… after leaving her mark in an unforgettable way.  She didn’t write a book, she won’t be written in the history books, she wasn’t known by the whole world.  But, her name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  And the life she led that touched her family and friends, has changed us. 

Gramma Marge Christmas Day 2010


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