Every once in awhile in your life you meet a truly loving, generous, and beautiful soul. Someone who is extremely intelligent, artistically gifted, who always thinks of others before herself, who always treats you as if you were one of her children, and who always sees the good in others and the beauty in life. Some one who just wanted to be the best mother she ever could be.
I was so very fortunate in my life to meet such a beautiful woman. She was my former mother-in-law and she entered my life when I was 18 and I considered myself fortunate and blessed to have had her in my life.
If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog you know that my beautiful Mother passed away this year. What you don't know is that both my beloved Mother and my beautiful former mother-in-law, Mary, both passed away this year within days of each other.
Mary was baking cookies and suddenly passed out. Well, they rushed her to the hospital and discovered she had a brain tumor. My former father-in-law and sister-in-law came to my Mother's memorial service in January and told me they wanted to pay their respects, but couldn't stay long as they were going directly to the hospital from the service.
They also told me that during one of their visits in the past few days that Mary mentioned my birthday card and her need to mail it. What you don't know is that each and every year for 38 years I have received a birthday card from her. Every year I send a Christmas card and letter to my former in-laws and every year Mary sends me a birthday card and letter in January.
Unfortunately, the very next day - which happened to be my birthday - Mary passed away. When I heard the news I was just crushed. Two of the most beautiful and remarkable women I have ever known had passed away within days of each other. I cannot express how sad and devastated I was at the loss of two women I dearly and deeply loved.
What you also don't know is that Mary was like a 2nd mother to me. She was there for me at a time when I needed unconditional understanding and love. She welcomed me into her home and her heart and I never really left. Physically I did, but she entered my soul, taught me about genuine love and generosity and gave me unconditional support. I was truly blessed and was changed forever from having known her.
So, I thought it would be nice to honor such a remarkable woman this holiday season and show you some of the handmade objects she gave me which I still have displayed in my home all year and the handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations she gave me so many, many years ago.
The two gnomes that are pictured in the collage below were created during a time when she was taking ceramics classes. I just loved the happy, smiling gnomes and so she decided to make them for me. The blue gnome sits on one of the cabinets we have in our bathroom and I see him each and every morning reminding me to be of good cheer.
The yellow gnome sits just above my computer monitor. I've had him there for years and I love looking at him all the time. There's a sparkle and glint in his eyes - just like there always was in Mary's eyes. Beauty in his and her soul.
The three pictures in the collage below are three of the handmade ornaments that she gave me many, many years ago. For several years she had participated in and made handmade ornament and decorations for her annual Christmas church fair. I can remember her at her sewing machine for days on end just sewing one item right after the other. I was amazed at the amount of items she had created and which were sold for the benefit of her church.
The first picture is two Santa booties that I display each and every holiday season. I just love them. They are made of felt and are actually booties surrounding two small Gerber baby jars. The 2nd picture is a plaid bell and the 3rd picture is a felt cardinal glued atop a hair-clip. The cardinal resides atop my Christmas tree each and every year just below my old Santa tree topper.
I will miss getting a birthday card this year from Mary but know that she is forever within my heart. She came into my life and changed me forever.
For you Mary.....
Keith L. Brooks