Sunday, August 28, 2011

Returning with Honor

Splenda Daddy's mom is a saint.  No really, if we were Catholic, I'm pretty sure she would qualify.  I mean I know there are rules and stuff, but really - she's kind of up there with Mother Theresa.  I have never met a more selfless, kind, non judgemental, giving person in all my life. 

After Dave's dad died several years ago, she took some time to get on her feet, find her ground and her new single life. 

Then she surprised us all by announcing she was going to serve a mission.  Couldn't think of a better thing for her to do.  Sure her kids and grandkids were growing and changing, but she felt the need to be of service for a greater cause.  She spent 18 months in the Georgia, Macon mission.  LOVED IT.

She came home with stories and friendships and experiences that will be HERS forever.

So a couple of years ago when she announced she was turning in her mission papers again, it came as no surprise and more of something that we all expected. 

This time she was called to the Washington DC Temple mission.  That meant that she served in the temple and visitors center.  What a spectacular mission no?

The 18 months flew by.  Some of the kids and grandkids went out this summer after she was released and enjoyed a nice vacation.  Splenda and I missed out on that, but loved hearing about their adventures.

She flew in late at night a couple of weeks ago and what a fun thing at the airport! 

It doesn't matter if your returning missionary is a young man of 21 or wise Great Grandma in her 70's - the feelings of reunion are the same!

We had a family bbq - thanks to Darrell and Cassandra for hosting - and enjoyed a great time catching up with each other and her.  I think we had almost ALL her kids and grandkids in one spot.  Just missing the few in LV.

Great Grandson Colson - born while she was gone

Great Granddaughter Ella born while she was gone

one of Chloee's last weekend's here - so excited for CAKE!

Today was the day that she spoke in church and gave her 'report'.  What an amazing woman!  Raised 7 kids while hubby worked two and three jobs.  Ran her own flower business from her home.  Served in countless positions in her ward.  Babysat grandkids.  Lost her husband in her 60's.  And yet through it all, has the strongest testimony of Jesus Christ and exemplifies His life of service more than anyone I can think of.

Her talk was wonderful as always, and just to hear her share her love for serving and meeting new people was so inspiring.

It was also fabulous to have as much family around as we could - including her husband's family.

What a blessing for me to be married into this woman's family.  Splenda Daddy takes after her in so many ways, and has followed her example of service many times.  They both inspire me.  I can't thank her enough for raising him to be the person that he is.

I have a feeling this won't be her last mission.  Of course, she'll go right to work at home, wherever she is, but I kinda think that in another year or two, we'll get the word that her mission papers are going in AGAIN. 

The next place for Joy to land will count themselves just as lucky as I do.


Kelly said...

What a neat lady. My husband and I have probably bumped into her in the temple since he is a worker there and we go quite often. The DC temple is awesome!

tammy said...

What a great example!

Sue said...

Melissa thank you for posting this.

What a wonderful woman. She really is one of "those" that inspires.

I want to be just like her.

Cherie said...

Ok I have to tell you that I am having trouble recognizing you with your blond hair! That is taking some getting used to. But I love it!

Your Mother In Law sounds like a total Gem and the exact Opposite of my MIL - Ha Ha - we won't go there!! You are lucky to have her.

Mae Rae said...

smiles and nothing but!

Lazarus said...

Mel, that is a GREAT story, I wish I had a zinger to hit you with (that's the only reason I came over here, in truth!) but you foiled me with this really cool tale. I will say, however, just to drizzle a bit on your parade, that the spelling is "Mother Teresa," not "Theresa." I know you're not Catholic but I had to bust on you anyway. But great post. I hate you for being so perfect!

DesertHen said...

What a beautiful post! You are blessed to have such an amazing mother-in-law! She sounds like an amazing lady! =)

Diaper Diva said...

What a great opprotunity to get to not once, but twice. She si an example to us all.

Pedaling said...

It's people like her that make family so full of love.
I wish my mom would serve a mission. I know she'd love it and she would do great and find such fulfillment!
Happy, Happy!

gigi said...

I would love to grow up to be like that one day! What a great example for your whole family! Lucky you :)