October 29, 2016

INSPIRATION: Resentful Man Finds Mother-In-Law Hunched Over In Kitchen, Hard Heart Shatters When He Realizes Why She’s There ♥

written/shared by Josh Starling
Thursday October 20, 2016

Marriage is not only a union between two people, but a union between two families. Relationships in the immediate family can be difficult enough. When you marry into an entirely new family unit things can get dicey in a hurry. Sometimes it’s not until it’s too late that we come to appreciate people like our mother-in-law.

When Scott met his mother-in-law, he knew off the bat they weren’t going to be the best of friends. But when Scott and his wife were in their seventh year of marriage, their life took a drastic turn that changed their world forever. Scott’s wife was diagnosed with aggressive Leukemia when she was only 3o years old.

Out of this tragedy, Scott learned that even the one he thought was unlovable was deserving of all his gratitude.
This is Sharon, my mother-in-law.

She taught me it's important work to see someone for who they are, not what you expect.

When I first met my mother-in-law, I had a hard time understand her thick South Virginia accent. And she seemed a little bossy in that southern passive aggressive polite way. But I knew she was important to the love of my life, so I accepted her begrudgingly as some of us do when family is forced on us.

After 7 years, I still didn't really know her.

When my wife got leukemia at 30, when they gave her 10% chance to live a year, when our world was shattered and changed forever, Sharon very quietly and very firmly stepped into the role she was born for. She moved, with her dependent Vietnam vet husband, into our house and became my wife's caretaker too.

Over a period of two years, she bought most of the groceries, cooked almost every meal, did most of the laundry and cleaning, drove both dependents to almost every one of the 300+ doctor appointments, sorted tens of thousands of pills, and made sure they were all taken on time at every hour of the day.

And she did this when she herself was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of caring for everyone else. When she was getting a mastectomy. When she was going through chemo.

She hums when she works. She talks to herself when there is no one to listen. And she goes about every day with humility and grace.

I took this picture before I left for work one day. She didn't know I was there.

 This, friends, is what greatness looks like in a quiet moment. Waiting on oatmeal to cook for her daughter for the 300th time since she got sick. Her hair was gone from her own chemo. She refused caring against all odds.

Not everyone gets to have a real-world superhero in their lives. And for this I was filled with gratitude every day.


Scott’s story is one that we all need to internalize. There will always be people in life, some of them family, that are hard to love. Let’s do all that we can to love them well despite our feelings about them.

After all of the years spent living in frustration and annoyance at the “family” forced upon him, Scott realized just in time what a wonderful woman his Mother-In-Law really was.

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