Strength and Dignity

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.

Proverbs 31:25

Mothers-in-law often have terrible representations in popular culture. All too often they are portrayed as the overbearing, meddling woman who has nothing but criticism for the way her daughter-in-law does things because nothing is good enough for her son. Luckily, I never had that experience with my mother-in-law. Trever and his mother are very close; after a few false starts, he was even living back at home with his parents when we met. Sometimes we joked she was just happy I took him off her hands!

We have always lived within a few hours drive of both sets of our parents and have been fortunate enough to visit them relatively often. My mother in law Judy (my daughters call her “B” – a nickname that was established by their older cousin that stuck) also used to come up from the southern part of the state every few months and stay for the weekend, visit with us, go out to eat, and play card games.

Although Judy has suffered with various health maladies all of her life, from the time I first met her, she was active with crafting, yard work, and her genealogy research. In 2008, she suffered a heart attack that really set her back. She had surgery and recovered but had lingering issues that left her with lingering medical problems. Sadly, life handed her another blow a few years later with a cancer diagnosis. Determined in the face of a rare and initially misdiagnosed condition, she endured rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, seeking specialists at both CARTI here in Arkansas and at the renowned MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.

Cancer treatment is not easy for anyone but when combined with a slew of other health issues, sometimes the potential “cure” is worse than the disease. After a brief period of what looked like remission, more cancer was found a few months ago. Treatment began again, but the side effects were devastating and debilitating. She is now on a different, non- chemotherapy medication, and we hope for the best possible results as she moves forward.

As I said, Trever and his mother are particularly close and sometimes I think that has actually been to the detriment of my relationship with her because they talked so often and he kept her up to date on what was happening with the girls, and the ins and outs of everyday life. Plus, I can be rather introverted in my relationships and often don’t say what I might be feeling or thinking.

So I wanted to take an opportunity this Mother’s Day to thank the mother of my husband for raising a great man who is a wonderful husband and father. Life has certainly dealt her a rough hand but she always has had a positive outlook and determination to face her challenges head on. I know I haven’t said it enough but I hope that she knows that I love her and pray for her daily. We don’t know what the future holds but I know she will face it with strength and dignity.

Karri Temple Brackett

May 12, 2019

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