But I don't have a Mother on this earth anymore.
No longer can I call her and say, "I love you, mom. Happy Mother's Day!" No longer can I pick out a card with just the right message. No longer can I write that heart felt letter, thanking her for all the ways she was so special. No longer can I decide, "this year I'm going to do something special!" Those days are gone for me.
But I have a Mother-in-law.
My Mother-in-law did not get the surprising news that #6 was on the way. She did not carry me for 9 months and birth me into this world. She did, however, get the news of her son's interest of a girl in Arkansas. She did open her heart to that first intrusion into her family. She did accept me and allow me to make her a Mother-in-law for the very first time. And she let me take her son off to the ends of the earth to start a new life of our own.
My Mother-in-law did not give me life. She didn't stay up at night rocking me, she didn't change my messy diapers and nurse me through days of sickness nor wipe away my tears. She did, however, give me her son. She did accept the 'messy' feelings of change and letting go and she's cried with me and laughed with me over the joys and sorrows of marriage.
My Mother-in-law doesn't know all the stories that made up my childhood, all the escapades and the memories and the years of growing up. She has, however, entered into my years of married life and motherhood. She has spent hours chatting with me, doing things with me, making memories galore. She has allowed me space to 'grow up' in my wife and mother role these 14 years.
My Mother-in-law doesn't have grey hair like my mom. She doesn't enjoy quilting and writing and gardening like mom did. She does, however, have a heart of love for us. She enjoys giving and helping and caring about us. She loves nothing better then remembering the treats each grandchild enjoys and having it on hand for them. Her greatest joy is listening for you to let slip something you really need or would like to have and surprising you with it later.
My Mother-in-law does not share my DNA. She does not know my quirks from little up. It was not her hand that I pinched the skin on as a child when I needed love and security. She does, however, share my love for my husband and children. She has accepted me into her heart and home and knows me pretty well. She allows me to share my frustrations and my cares with her - even when it's about her son. :) She has made me feel secure in her love.
And so, today it's Mother's Day, and I don't have a mom on this earth anymore. But I do have someone who calls me "the daughter she never had" and I am privileged to call her Mother-in-law!