Time stood still on the day that the other woman died. I was deeply grieved that day. I held my husband and cried with him. I still remember the look on his face as I sat at the kitchen table doing homework with my son. The look of utter sadness, shock, horror when he silently beckoned for me to meet him in the hallway to say, “she’s gone.”
The other woman I speak of was my blessed, beloved mother-in-law, Marie B. Nadall; otherwise known as Ma. Everyone called her Ma; everyone loved her and vied for her attention. People who didn’t really know her were drawn to her because she was just so kind, so encouraging. Those who knew her, knew her to be non-judgmental, loving, accepting and so peaceful. I got to know her feisty side. We giggled a lot and I love when she’d pretend to be scandalized whenever I’d say things to shock a reaction out of her. “Oh Arleeeeeeeene” she’d say and she’d twist her mouth to the side and let out the laugh she couldn’t suppress. I knew her to be a prayer warrior. I recall the first time I visited my husband’s family during a 4th of July weekend. I retreated to my room with a horrendous headache and was going to miss the fireworks. My husband’s sister checked in on me and asked me if I had gone to Ma for prayer. I did so hesitantly. No one had ever prayed for me before. Ma got her anointing oil, anointed my head, then laid her hands on me as she prayed and I felt the power of God released through her hands. I stood up ears flaming and ringing with no sign of a headache. Her response? “Just Jesus,” as she sat rocking back and forth and smiling.
She didn’t blink when she found out her only begotten son 🙂 was marrying a Catholic girl. She loved me and showed me the love of God. When she found out I got born again her response was, “that’s nice.” She loved me the same! Her fast days were Wednesday and Saturday and she was faithful. Her phone would be especially busy on those days with the numerous prayer requests she’d receive. Everyone knew Ma’s prayers reached heaven!!!
She shared her heart with me and I felt really special those times when she’d ask me to agree with her in prayer. I was good to her…she was royalty as far as I was concerned. My husband appreciated our relationship and was so happy that I never made him choose. I was not jealous of their bond..I encouraged him to visit her whenever he was able to and encouraged him to call as often as he liked. I loved her, honored her and respected her. I miss the other woman.
I’ve heard women speak negatively of their mothers-in-law; have heard the jokes, etc. I’ve always opined that she had him first and perhaps that’s why it worked with us. I released him to continue being a son and she released him to be a husband. He was never forced to choose between us…he was free to love us both and that freedom made him a better husband and an amazing son.
I recognize that you reap what you sow; you get what you give. Because I understand those principles and because I know that one day I will be the other woman, I expect to be loved, honored and respected too!