Scissors and Saints: The Story of My In-Laws

In-laws. The phrase, a common topic of pop culture, sends shivers down many people’s spines:

For the first time ever I was taking the family on the road. We stayed with my in-laws, which on life’s list of experiences ranks right below sitting in a tub full of scissors. (Jeff Foxworthy)

I feel so fortunate to be blessed with in-laws that rank high as compared to Foxworthy’s joke. Since falling in love with Dave, I have found an additional family in which to give and receive love. They will never replace my parents…but the beauty lies in the fact that they do not have to. My heart has expanded so that where there were 2 parents, now there are 4; where there were 3 siblings, now there are 4.

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30249_424511792812_629555_nMy additional brother, Jeremy, is a man of quiet observation. He is brilliant with his hands–whether working on cars or homes. He is a man comfortable with himself, generous, patient, insightful and kind. I am lucky to be his sister.

My additional mother, Debbie, is a woman who walks closely to God.

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When my Mom got sick, both times, it was her I called. When a close friend’s Dad was dying, it was her I emailed. I turn to her because I rely so deeply on her fierce intercessory prayers. I recognize that Dave and I stand on the shoulders of this saint; I feel carried by her prayers and love.

232323232-fp3;--nu=326--75;-857-WSNRCG=323668-364-75nu0mrjMy additional father, Ron, is a man who speaks little, but carries and discreetly shares the world of words in his heart. Words like this:

You have made a difference in my life and I THANK YOU for that.

When he writes to me in emails–whether it’s corny jokes and forwards or emails encouraging my heart–he is as handy with language as he is with a tool belt. He has a way of melting all my crusty defense mechanisms, just by leaning in with a gentle pat on the back or a shared quiet conversation.  I treasure his presence in my life.

These are the saints with whom I spent my first Thanksgiving without my Mom. They fostered a place for me to be in grieving silence and stupid joy. They gave me space and grace. 

And they created the Christmas spirit. Sorry Mr. Foxworthy, the only scissors here are used to open all these presents–physical and metaphorical. 

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