‘When I married my husband, I got a cheerleader as a gift. She took me in and loved me as her own from the beginning.’ The woman expresses gratitude to her mother-in-law for her ‘unconditional affection.’

“This lovely lady gave life to the man I’ve been with for over 30 years.” After our first meet-the-parents event, while the hubs and I were dating, I knew she was a special soul. Last week, we celebrated her 81st birthday. Can you believe how stunning she is?

I had no idea how important my mother-in-law would be in our lives as a married couple and eventually a family of five when I was a young 23-year-old standing on the altar.

She is still a beacon of love and charity, and she takes home the prize for being our most ardent supporter and prayer warrior.

But it’s who she is to me as a person that makes me cry.

She took me in and loved me as if I were her child from the beginning. Even when I had to inform her, I was pregnant, and the wedding was still five weeks away while standing by her son’s side during our engagement. Gah.

Although I don’t recall what she said, I recall how she made me feel like it was yesterday: loved and accepted. Her kind hug and lack of judgment quickly suffocated the tension coursing through my veins.

After giving birth to all three of our children, she turned up and showered me with grace in the form of sacrificial service.

Washing clothes, preparing meals, cleaning up, and, of course, lavishing love on her grandchildren. She never once questioned my parenting. She never tried to interject herself into our relationship.

She’s always been a lovely presence and a source of inspiration and support. Her desire to listen and sympathize is the source of these qualities.

Because of his mother’s influence, my partner accepts me for who I am and loves me completely.

Because of his mother’s influence, my boyfriend chooses to forgive.

My guy’s mom influences him when he selflessly helps people at the drop of a hat.

My guy’s mom influences him when he loves our kids and shows up in their life.

It’s because of his mother’s influence that my boy prays his heart out for our family.

And the list goes on and on…

I married one man and received his upbringing as a gift. What a lucky break.

I’m sure I struck gold with my mother-in-law, which explains why I struck gold with my husband. This is the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. “Thank you, Mom; I adore you.”

Courtesy of Shelby Spear

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