Authentic Compassion

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Snapshots of a life well lived

My mother in law, Ethel, was born April 4, 1919 - an identical twin. She loved being a twin - although a few years ago the three of us (DH, MIL and me) had studio pictures made and she didn't like any of the proofs. We got a little exasperated with her and asked WHY? they were all good shots - she made a little disgusted face and said "I look like Elsie". We both cracked up - well yes Mom - you DO look like your identical twin! We told her we'd buy the pictures anyhow and tell people it was really Elsie.
They grew up on a farm in Michigan and she often shared stories about the cooking and animals and family gatherings. I think she liked living with us because we have animals and live outside town. One picture is the twins when they were young women and the other was taken about five years ago. The feisty hula girl was Ethel in 1944.

Ethel moved from Michigan to Florida with her husband who unfortunately passed away in 1980. In later years she lived there with her younger son and his family and still later her beloved youngest child and only daughter, Pat. She believed in staying busy and worked at KMart--keeping in touch with many gal pals from her KMart days. Ethel maintained a busy correspondence schedule - sending cards and notes to literally dozens of people. Since her death there will be a lot of folks with less in their mailboxes now - she never liked email but almost every day had a stack of notes and cards to mail. She was creative and a joyous participant in holidays - at Christmas she loved decorating - my Christmas pictures show some of her handiwork. One of her special joys was reading --often reading 4 or 5 books in a week. When she and I went into Fort Worth we made our shopping circuit -- DSW shoes, Mardel's Christian Bookstore - then to Costco. We'd trade books and have friends who also love reading and had the Linda, Ethel , Ella and Kathy exchange library around here! She also sent shoeboxes of paperbacks to Elsie and we got packages in the mail with Elsie's share of the book exchange.
Ethel left notes around her bedroom upstairs - reminders of doctor's appointments, eye exams, people's special events and bits of scripture or Christian fiction which caught her eye. Every morning she was up in her room after breakfast - reading Our Daily Bread and the scriptures related to those readings. She loved Christ as her Lord - deeply and with a personal faith.
The last picture is Ethel several years ago in DH's sporty red car - she was always willing to have fun and often teased by her devoted son - we'll miss you Ethel but definitely will see you again some sweet day.
"No eye has seen, no ear has hear, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him."Isaiah64:4


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss! She sounds like a wonderful person and servant to the Lord.

Kathy, AKA "His Pilgrim" said...

Hi Linda, Thank you for sharing your MIL with us. She does sound like a very sweet lady and I am sure you will miss her.

May our Lord comfort your sad heart and may He allow the sun to shine a little brighter today to remind you once again that He has her with Him now and you will see her again one day.

Thank you for being my friend.


Paula said...

Oh Linda Sue, I'm sorry because I know you and your hubby will miss her terribly, and I 'm sure all those she kept in contact with will feel the void in their lives as well. I know you take comfort in the fact that you will see her again, but I will still keep your family in my prayers.

Vickie said...

Linda - I'm sorry to hear about your sweet Mother in Law. You sound as crazy about yours as I do mine. We've been very blessed, haven't we? I know the Lord has a special place in heaven for your MIL and you'll all be together again someday. I can't wait for all those good reunions! Blessings to you and your husband - Vickie

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Isn't it so true that those of us who are so blessed also feel the greatest of losses!!!!! But we grieve not as those who have no hope! I'm so glad I stopped by today. I feel so enriched, and can almost hear the welcome song at Heaven's gates!!!!! I know the Lord will walk with you through this time in your life and I will keep you in my prayers! Cora

Pam said...

What a wonderful tribite. I know you have been blessed to know her, and will miss her greatly.

Lolosblog said...

I can not say anything thing more than the others have already said.

We morn for ourselves, for the void that will be in our lives. But we celebrate her life knowing that she and the Lord our Father will be waiting together for the sweet reunion.

You are in my heart and prayers.

Pastor Sherm said...

Hey Beloved,
Well, I'm sad to see Ms. Ethel go. Parting -- as fellow believers -- is indeed a sweet sorrow.
I loved sharing the grace & truth of Christ with her. And I never tired of seeing her smile on Sunday mornings.
May God comfort you both, as only He can.
Pastor Sherm

Jenni said...

What a beautiful tribute to your MIL. It is such a blessing to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone is waiting for you up yonder. I love my MIL too...

I pray the Lord comforts you with many happy memories of this life well-lived.

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law! She sounds like such a neat person - I'm glad that she brightened your life. Praying for you guys during this sad time!

Anonymous said...

Hey Linda, How sweet of you to post this in honor of Ethel. What a way to live...full of life right up to the last day! A life of faith in God, faithfulness to friends, and a very faithful son and daughter in law to boot! She was truly were those whose paths crossed with hers! I pray for absolute peace and joy as you reminisce. Love y'all dearly! ~~~Janie Davis

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Your MIL sounds like she was a lovely person. So sorry for your loss! Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings, Kathleen