by Sheri L. VanDuyn
Mother-in-law they say, and yet,
Somehow I simply
Twas you who watched his baby ways
Who taught him his first hymn of praise;
Who smiled on him with loving pride
When he first toddled by your side.
but oh, twas you
Who taught him
to be kind and true;
When he was tired, and almost asleep,
Twas to your arms he used to creep;
And when he bruised his tiny knee,
twas you who
kissed it tenderly.
Mother-in-law they say, and yet,
Somehow I never
How very much I owe
To you, who taught him how to grow.
You trained your son to look above,
You made of him the man I love;
And so I think of that today,
Ah! Then with thankful heart Ill say
These words were sewn by me into a sampler
for my Mother-in-law and presented to her on the occasion of my in-laws 50th
Wedding Anniversary. I found this in a cross stitch book named, Occasions
That Count which was very appropriate as I read these words with tears in my
eyes at the program honoring her. I have always felt this way about our Mom.
This Mothers Day will not be as bright, but a memory of Mom. This will
be the first one without her as she passed away on March 5, 2007.
We both miss her so very much and cannot
believe that she is gone
Anna Van Duyn lived a very full life being born December 18,
1914; she celebrated her 92nd birthday which Ralph was so glad to fly out for.
She was married for 74 years; most people wish to live that long. She married my father in
law in a South Dakota snow storm in February 10, 1933 and was blessed to have 4 boys. Mom
always said that it would take her many years to have her girls-her
daughter in laws as each married her sons.
The 4th son, the only one born
in California and her baby was a tag-along, my husband, Ralph. Mom was 40 and Dad was 43
years old when he came along and back then that was considered old. She always
said, Well never get this one through school.
Well Ralph did go to school and graduated
from Valley Christian School in Southern California. He started at the local Community
College and began thinking more and more of attending a Christian College. He chose Calvin
College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and in the Fall of 1974 he headed east with a friend and
2 nephews. One was younger and checking out the College, while the other was going to be
his roommate; since Ralph was so much younger than his oldest brother, there was only a
few years between them. Other students in their dorm had to check out the uncle and nephew
living together; I am sure they suspected a much older person, but this was not the case.
same year I was starting my sophomore year at Calvin College along with my older brother
Gary who was a junior. Gary brought these 3 California boys, who were his
suite mates, home for Sunday dinner; I had also come home for a delicious meal. My Mother
strategically placed me at the dinner table by Ralph; she liked him immediately.
two of us hit it off quickly and soon afterward we were walking to classes
together-checking out the art studios, meals, chapel and the Library. We were inseparable.
Christmas I flew to California to meet Ralphs parents. I was so glad that I did. We
were engaged on Valentines Day and married August 22-only 11 months after our first
meeting! I can remember Ralphs family coming out for the wedding in their travel
trailers. His Mom welcomed me into their family with open arms; I was going to be her
last daughter. This would be the 2nd time we would spend time
together and I was marrying her son! I still
can see her waving goodbye to the two of us as we left for our honeymoon. She was so happy
for us, but sad to see us leave. One of Moms favorite expressions over the years
while being together was, It just wasnt enough time! And after her
passing, I can say, How true! 32 years just wasnt enough time to have her as
Her children rise
up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.-Proverbs 31: 28
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