I know I haven't exactly been the most consistent blogger lately. I'll get a blog idea in my head, but then I never actually write it before it escapes again. Anyway...
Today I wanted to share some thoughts I've had about my mother-in-law. She lost her battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects the plasma cells, one year ago today. Needless to say, it has been a heavy day for me. And while I didn't know her as intimately as some, she had a deep impact on my life and I'm grateful to her for it. I grieve for her today.
Donna Kay Weatherford was one of the truly nicest people I have ever met. In the fifteen years that I knew her, I literally never heard her say a negative thing about anyone. Even when something bothered her or something was unfair, she never spoke badly about anyone. This is an amazing thing to me as I can not say the same about myself.
I grieve for my husband and my daughter's loss. Donna was such a devoted mother. Like most mothers, she would have done anything for John. She adored him and was so proud of him. And more than anyone I've ever known, she was made to be a grandmother. I'm sad that she only got to see Yemi a few times and even in those times, she was too sick to do the things I know she had always planned to with her grandchildren. She and Yemi would have loved to craft together. She could have taught her how to scrapbook and crochet and they would have played with Play-Doh together. She would have spoiled her in a completely unique way from the way my mom spoils her. She would have bought her all the knickknacks that kids love. (The same kind of things, by the way, that Donna's sisters mail to Yemi on Halloween and Valentine's Day and Christmas. God bless then, I know Donna would be so happy to know they do that).
She loved to garden and was really good at it. The Weatherfords were always growing watermelon and tomatoes and cotton and flowers and pumpkins. If I remember correctly, she didn't like most of what she grew, but others could enjoy her green thumb.
Donna loved Christmas more than anyone I ever saw. Their small two bedroom house always looked like a gingerbread house in December. Wooden candy canes would line the driveway and lights would be inside and out. She collected snowmen year round and had dozens on display during this time of year. She would bake cookies for friends and loved giving gifts. She would wrap each one individually, no matter how small.
She loved to take pictures and to scrapbook. She was really good at it, too. She was published in magazines and taught classes. I suspect that her genes are where John got his talent in the arts. I know she would have loved scrapbooking her grandchildren.
There was so much life left for her to live, places to travel, children to love, gardens to grow. I don't understand why God took her so early, but I deeply trust in the same God she trusted in. Her disease was terrible and unfair. She dealt with so much pain while she was sick and I never heard her complain, not once. I thank her for raising a son that loves people and art and Jesus and knows how to love me well. What would my life be without her?
So while my heart is heavy, I choose to remember what she gave to the world. How she lived her life and loved people. She was a lovely, sweet, humble person and God knew what he was doing when he made her.
(This picture was after she had been through chemotherapy and her hair grew back white. Most of the time I knew her, her hair was much darker).