I saw a woman who gave beyond her ability. She took what little she had and gave it, to me, to my wife, and to my children. She gave even when in pain. I watched her wince, from agony, while playing cards with my children, but she let on like nothing had happened, and kept playing. For years.
I don’t know how to love like that, but she showed me the way.
I saw a woman struggle to lift her children above herself, to push them ahead, trying to shake off the scales of poverty and blindness and abuse. She came from almost nothing, and spent the best years of her life trying to create something of value for her family.
I didn’t know how to live like that, but she showed me the way.
And I saw a woman pour out affection like a swollen river after a heavy April rain, aiming it at a child who was misunderstood, and misaligned, a child disfigured in speech and body and behavior.
Even though this child was my own, I did not know how to love like that. But she showed me the way. My mother-in-law, who is gone.
I miss her, and honor her, and thank her.