Friday, March 13, 2009

My Mother-in-law: 1928-1972

I've been thinking a lot about her this month. My mother-in-law, Virginia Angeline Beasley. She passed away in March of 1972 with breast cancer, so this month would be the 37th anniversary of her passing.

I had the good pleasure of knowing this great lady for the 4 years my husband and I dated, plus 10 months of our marriage. It was way too little time. She was only 44 years old when she went to be with Jesus.

She protested at first when my husband and I started dating. And why would she not? It had only been a year since my mother was in the local newspaper relating her to a store robbery. So what good mother would not have objections.

But she gave me a chance and it was no time before we were good friends and calling each other on the phone.

She loved to cook and was quite good at it. She worked at various local restaurants and sometimes would do catering. She had also worked as a nurse when she was younger. In those days no real formal training was required. I'm not quite sure on this particular subject, perhaps she was just a nurses aide, but I do know she worked in some aspect of nursing for a time.

Prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, she had already been through quite a lot. Her husband was an alcoholic, she was the mother of 4 boys, one of which had polio, she nearly burned to death in a house explosion and lost her first grandchild in the same house explosion.

If it were not for her, I would never have had a wedding. My own mother was "not available" and my brand new stepmother would have nothing to do with me. So, she stepped in and filled that role. I will always be thankful to her for doing that.

Shortly after my husband and I married, he had to leave to go into the Navy and I moved in with her. It was only a 2 bedroom house. The other 2 boys still living at home shared one bedroom. My father- in- law slept on the couch and she and I bunked together in her room. The room was small and could only hold a double bed. I remember, with fondness, that she would keep my feet warm at night and we would have long talks before drifting off to sleep.

I was 2 months pregnant with my first child when she died. She would have been a loving grandmother to my children. I have missed having her in my life.

We only have about four photos of her. That is a shame. These are two of them. The above picture was taken right before going to husbands high school graduation. She had on dark glasses because her eyes were still very sensitive from being burned in the fire. The one below was taken while she was doing what she loved to do...cook. I encourage young people to please take pictures of your parents and grandparents. Hold on to them and cherish them. You will want to see them one day.

Again, I miss her. I look forward to seeing her again some day. In a place where there is no pain, no alcohol, no burns, and no cancer.

What a great day that will be!

Blessings of peace and all that is good!


Susan said...

What a sweet, loving tribute to your mother-in-love. You were indeed blessed and I know she was, too. 44 years young....oh my!!!

Brenda said...

How blessed you were to have even those 4 or so years with her. She probably instilled in you a wealth of loving kindness just in that short time.

Sita said...

How blessed you are to have had a MIL who cared about you so much...such a wonderful tribute to a woman who had been in the furnace quite literally as it seems...and such a young age to be called Home...
pray all is well with you..
Love, Sita

Jen said...

Thanks so much for the post..I have been curious into my past lately. Don't know why, I guess because I see so many of my family's traits in my kids, I wonder which ones of my grandparents I have. Do you think uncle Kenny has any photos of her?

Kellie H said...

Sounds like beauty, outside and in, runs in the family because I see it constantly in you all. Love you guys.

Art said...

What a wonderful tribute. She sounds like a great lady!

Andrea said...

I enjoyed reading such a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law. She was truly a wonderful woman. I know you must greatly miss her. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words. I look forward to getting to know you better. May God richly bless you, and may you have a wonderful day in Christ.


jennifer said...

This was precious.

I think the words about your mother in law would bless her heart. I was the most touched about her sharing her bed with you - that is right up there with foot washing and the disciple lounging against Jesus chest. So personal and so giving.

Thank you for sharing. Seems like when you open up like this I am always deeply humbled and touched by what you share.

Blessing MeMaw!

Amrita said...

Hi Debbie,

Your MIL really deserves such a tribute. She was a great influence in your young age that 's why you remember her so fondly.

Simply_Pam said...

You were truely bless by this wonderful woman.So often I hear unhappy stories about "mother-in-laws. I just hope that one day my extended family members will look bsck and remember me with love.. This woman loved you because she wanted to,not because she had to.A kind heart is always remembered.

ambersun said...

Hi from Australia

Thank you for sharing this lovely story - I hope to meet this lady in heaven someday.

My stepmother is a bit like this - she is not like a story book stepmother at all but loving, kind and generous.

May God Bless you with more and more wonderful people in your life.

God Bless