Tuesday, April 28, 2009
A Tribute to my Mother-in-Law Julia Brodie
Her Children arise up, and call her blessed…
April, 29, 2004 will be a day I will never forget. My mother-in-law left this earth and joined her Heavenly Father. She was so at peace in her last days and always had a smile for who ever entered her room.
I have so many good memories of Mom. She was a lady I greatly loved and admired. She was a lady I wanted to emulate.
I remember the first time Larry brought me home to meet his family. I immediately sensed the love this family had for each other. I wanted that as well. I was whole heartedly accepted by Mom that day and all the days to follow.
I admired Mom’s ability to unconditionally love and accept each of her children and grandchildren in such a way you really couldn’t tell if she had a favorite. If you were to ask either of our children what their favorite memories were, I would guess they would tell you “going to Grandma and Grandpa Brodie’s house.” Our kids were welcomed with open arms and open hearts. I’m sure the many times we visited, early in our marriage, on weekends with a baby and dog in tow after working all week, Mom never complained.
One unique bond Mom and I had was sharing the same name. Even though her given name was Julia, she was nicknamed Judy by some of her family members and friends. I liked that.
To meet Mom, you would have never guessed she had a shy introverted personality. I could really connect with that. She was very hospitable and everyone always felt comfortable and at home at Mom and Dad’s.
Being the oldest of eight siblings, Mom learned early on how to “gird her loins with strength, and strengthened her arms.” Prov. 31:17. I heard stories of her ironing cotton shirts for her brothers, making little blue capes for her sisters and curling their hair. She probably didn’t have a lot of “things” as a young girl in a large family back in the 1920s and 30s. I believe this led the way to her generous giving to needy situations. By example, she “reacheth forth her hands to the needy” Prov. 31:20
Mom was the subject of a lot of laughter as we reminisced her “gift” of perfectionism. She had a need to have a perfect table setting, the meal, seating arrangement, etc. She never wanted anyone to feel left out. Mom had a way of making you feel special. One such occasion took place on my high school graduation. Larry was giving me a beautiful Sapphire ring so he had mom wrap it up for me. True to form mom went the extra mile in making it very special for me. She placed the original ring box inside a little larger box arranging fresh cut flowers around that box. It was such a beautiful sight and touched my heart deeply. Another time is was able to experience mom’s sensitive and compassionate spirit was at our wedding. Larry and I were about to leave the wedding reception and the florist had forgotten my “going away” corsage. Mom immediately unpinned her mother’s corsage and pinned it on me to wear. The kind of a woman she was.
You could count on Mom to promptly send out birthday or anniversary cards. Her thank you cards were well thought out and very lengthy. Every gift fit that person’s needs and wants. She was very attuned to any thing new in your life. A new hair style, home decoration, outfit etc. Mom continually lived out Prov. 31:26b “. . . and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Mom loved anything you gave her and would make a big fuss over it. Even to the point as an example, when we paid for her dinner, and the steak she ordered had to be returned to the kitchen to be cooked longer. It came back black and overly cooked, but because we paid for it her response was “oh, this is delicious.” That’s our Mom.
Mom was a “real” mother and had a way of getting your attention as the following humorous story from my husband’s childhood. “Little Larry” was in his high chair refusing to eat the fruit cocktail his mother was trying to feed him. He would take pieces of fruit and drop them on the floor with that look in his eyes. Mom gave him a warning that if he didn’t eat it she would pour it on his head. Well, he ended up wearing that bowl of fruit cocktail. Does that surprise any of us?!! I have a feeling that was one mess Mom didn’t mind cleaning up.
We miss Mom but we are grateful there is no more suffering and we know where she is. Her memory will be imprinted on my heart forever. The greatest gift she gave me was her firstborn son, and I promised her I would take good care of him.
Good Bye for now, Mom, but not forever, I love you.