October 22, 1990.
That was the day that drastically changed the course of my husband's life.
He was 7 at the time, 2 weeks shy of his 8th birthday, when his world was forever changed. That day marked the beginning of some very difficult years in his life. His mom--his comforter, his stability, his haven--was gone.
Years ago (the Timeline feature makes things so easy to find), I posted this on Facebook:
22 years ago, a precious woman lost her battle with cancer. I never had the privilege of meeting her, yet I love her and am blessed by her every single day.How do I know?I married her son.
Leukemia may have taken her life, but her influence lived on.
My husband doesn't have an entire childhood filled with memories of his mother, but he remembers cuddling and napping with her after school. He recalls the way she laughed and enjoyed life, even while knowing she was dying. He remembers her intelligence. He remembers her love.
I know it's this heartache-filled path--the one that starts with losing his mother, moves on to his father remarrying, and ends with spending his teenage years in a children's home--that led us to each other, but I can't help but wonder how different things could have been. How would we have met had our college not been recommended to him while in the children's home? Would I have fallen in love with him as quickly had he not amazed me with his unbelievable forgiveness? Would we be close to his parents? What would his mom have been like? Would she have been the typical dreaded "mother-in-law"? I can't imagine she would have been, if she was anything like her laid-back, understanding, loving son.
I'd like to think that she would have loved me. And my children.
I could sit here all day and think of the what ifs, but this is the life God has given us. I'll never know my mother-in-law. I'll never see her smile or feel the warmth of her hug. I'll never be able to see which traits and habits my husband got from her. I'll never watch her hold my sleeping babies.
I'll never get to thank her for loving her son. Or for being the proper example in his life. I'll never have the opportunity to thank her for raising him those 8 years and making it possible for him to overlook the hardships and thrive in his life. I'll never thank her for her influence in making my husband the man that he is. I'll never be able to tell her, but I love her because I love him.