When my own Dad died 7 years ago, the loss was immensely difficult. But, knowing that I still had my "other dad" made it much easier. Since we married I have never felt like a daughter-in-law, only another daughter.
Last week as I looked down at the slices of homemade bread covering the counter top, ready to be made into sandwiches for the lunches I was packing, I had a thought pop into my head: I am becoming my mother-in-law! I couldn't have felt more proud.
Here are some of the reasons why I love my "other parents" so much, and why we look to them as examples for our own lives:
- Mom has made lunches for 16 kids and her husband each morning before school for most of her married life.
- She makes the best homemade bread on the planet.
- She shares my love for finding a great bargain and takes me to all of the good thrift stores when we come to visit.
- According to my oldest boy, nothing is better than Grandma's food. I think we all agree!
- My husband and all 15 of his siblings learned the value of hard work because it was expected of them. The boys all left home knowing how to fix their cars (engine, body & interior) & homes (construction, electrical, plumbing, etc.) on their own because it was taught to them as they were raised.
- They taught their children to look to each other as friends which has created bonds that are still strong today.
- Dad has been a school teacher his entire married life and was able to comfortably support their large family on that salary because he and mom knew how to manage their finances without going into debt.
- They emphasized the importance of education (from elementary through college) with their children so that each child's future would be more secure.
- Home was (and still is, even for in-laws!) a refuge, a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught and lived and everyone felt loved and safe.
- They brought my husband into the world, along with 15 other amazing people who I am lucky enough to call my family.