The following is my post as guest-host on Frosting For the Cause for Monday, March 14th. I wanted to keep a record of it here in my blog as well.
I was remiss in my earlier post, but I want to sincerely thank Paula for putting together such a wonderful, hopeful, inspiring Cause for us all to participate in. She is just a dream to work with, and so very, very sweet. We wouldn’t be here without her, sharing ours stories of love & hope!
When I signed up to “bake for a difference” way back in late December, I knew immediately who I wanted to honor with my post. I’ve been waiting three long months to have this chance, and I do hope you’re ready to meet her.
I’ve got a very special lady in my life, and we have a very special friendship. In your first guesses, you’d probably not guess this woman, if nothing else than for our relationship alone. You see, the sweet SuperWoman that I know and love so dearly is my mother-in-law.
Nancy. The name means “gracious,” and she is certainly every bit that. She is the church organist that has put in thousands of hours over her 40+ years of service, the nurse that has held hundreds of hands while caring for the sick & the dying, the mother that has raised three stubborn boys and always has spaghetti ready for dinner on Thursday nights, the grandmother of six that always has time to read a book aloud & sneak a bit of chocolate to them, and she is the loving wife to George, her husband of almost 46 years. She is a friend to all she meets, and she is a prayer warrior for them, as well as strangers she’s never met. She has no enemies because all who meet her love her (though she will tell you she dislikes the deer that feast on flowers in her backyard, she still will pause to admire them from her kitchen window!).
She is one of the most stunningly beautiful people – both inside & out – you could ever hope to meet.
She is also the biggest fighter I’ve ever met. They say that “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” and Nancy is proven to be one of the strongest women I’ve known, for she sure seems to “handle” a lot of impossibly tough situations. When her youngest (my husband) was only 3 years old, Nancy was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. She was given a 50/50 chance to live, but that wasn’t good enough for her, and she refused to give up! She always told people that she didn’t want anyone else raising her baby, and she meant it!
She went through a biopsy, a tongue re-section, and a radical head-and-neck, but she pulled through. While she was in the hospital and under anesthesia, she spoke to leprechauns, and she still insists to this day that they were real! We tease her a lot this time of year. *wink*
She tells a story of my husband when he was little that I love. On a roadtrip, the family stopped on the side of the road to let him do his business. Just as he positioned himself at an embankment and began, he scared a flock of butterflies into rising. He hadn’t seen them before, but they soon filled the air and covered the skies – happy, bright yellow butterflies! When days were hard, Nancy would always tell my husband to, “Remember the butterflies!” and he would cheer up. Thank goodness too, for I can’t imagine the man my husband would’ve grown up to become with her loving influence in his life. Now, 28 years later, she is still going strong!
In the last few years, however, she’s faced an even bigger hurdle – helping my father-in-law, George, to fight his own severe cancer. It has been a long 5-year battle, and his fight has become hers to keep his hope & spirits alive. She wouldn’t trade a moment away, though, for her love runs so very deep. I’m sure that George has been blessed with his own angel here on Earth.
When I asked my husband what type of cookie he thought would be best to honor his mom, he answered immediately: “Remember the butterflies! Oh, and make sure they’re yellow.” Absolutely, I could think of nothing better!