"Is it five o'clock somewhere?"

This is Marian, my mother-in-law. I took this picture as we were finishing dinner tonight. (Notice her cleaned plate! It was an amazing meal, if I do say so myself.)

I know that a lot of people have challenging relationships with their mothers-in-law. Hence, all the jokes. But I am blessed. I adore my mother-in-law. I really don't know anyone who doesn't love Marian. She's such a sweetheart.

We have been spending a lot of time together this week. In addition to doctor's appointments and pre-treatment testing, we've shopped and lunched. (I can't keep up with her when it comes to shopping. I am always the one to say, "I'm tired of shopping. Can we go eat now?")

She looks forward to her glass of wine before dinner. And on the way home every afternoon, she asks, "Is it five o'clock somewhere?" She's fun. And I have a feeling she always will be ... at any age!

She'll be 78 in a couple of weeks. She has raised five kids. She has lost two husbands to cancer. She has lost an 18-year-old granddaughter (Brittany) to asthma. She has a son (John) and a daughter (Lillian) battling cancer. And she is about to begin treatment for her own cancer next week. But you would never know she had a care in the world. She lives life to the fullest, enjoys every day, and never loses her sense of humor.

While still woozy from the Ativan (following her bone marrow biopsy), she looked over at the medical tray, saw red, and asked, "Is that my blood?" The nurse practitioner told her it was actually part of the bone marrow aspirate. And she said, "Well, that can't be mine because I'm from Kentucky and I bleed blue." She and John always bring laughter to the cancer clinic.

She's been telling me, "I'm so glad John has you..." for the last seven years. And lately she has been telling me, "I'm so glad I have you." I'm thankful she feels that way. I told her yesterday, "I would take care of you because of how much I love John even if I wasn't crazy about you. But I AM crazy about you and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you." And I meant it. I have a wonderful mother-in-law who always makes me feel loved and valued. I appreciate her.

I am also eternally indebted to her for bringing John into the world. And I frequently thank her for that.

As we were driving home from Publix today, I was thinking (as I often do) about all the ways God has blessed me through John. Obviously, John himself is such a blessing. But as a result of God transplanting me into John's life, I have been blessed with such a wealth of cherished family and friends. It's almost surreal at times. I cannot imagine any other life but the one I have. I cannot imagine what my life would have looked like had I not met John Howerton.

And one of my many blessings is my sweet mother-in-law, Marian.
It's a privilege to be her daughter-in-law.


Jannelle said…

This post just makes me smile! I am so thankful that you and your mother-in-law have such a bond. Hearing of your very loving relationship, I am given hope that I can have the same with my daughter-in-laws one day. Until then, I hope to learn from watching you with Marian and Rebecca.

I am so blessed to have you in my life and am so thankful for your example.
Shari said…
Jannelle, I feel equally blessed to have you in my life and your friendship means so much to me.

I'm glad this made you smile. Sometimes I write a post like this and then wonder if I just sound sappy. But I do enjoy both my mother-in-law and my daughter-in-law so much.

I am endlessly thankful for the blessing of so many wonderful relationships in my life. And I'm thankful I've been able to add you to that list! So glad you decided to leave that first comment!

I just love your heart and your perspective of life.
Shari said…
Thank you so much, Marcia. I appreciate all your comments.

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