Apparently Russia decided that they needed yet another holiday. But I think that this latest holiday is a great addition! (at least I think it's a new holiday because I sure didn't know about it last year)
November 30 is now День Матери. And in case you don't read Russian, that means Mother's Day. All over the city there are posters and billboards with a picture of a baby carriage sitting on a bright green hill under a beautiful sun. The slogan says something about natural transportation being the best. I'll work on that translation for later. :)
Anyway, on this Russian Mother's Day, I thought that I would get in the spirit of things and tell you about my wonderful mother-in-law. Actually, that isn't very Russian because normally mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are pretty much arch-enemies--so here's for going against the flow!
I met Thomas' parents for the first time on the Sunday afternoon of the special choir Christmas program at First Presbyterian Church, Yazoo City, MS, 2002. They had driven from Slidell, LA (just outside of New Orleans) in order to attend the program that their son had arranged and to hear the choir that he was conducting.
With the special program that night, Thomas was pretty busy that afternoon after lunch, which meant that I got to spend lots of time with his parents all by my lonesome. Was I nervous? Um, yes, but not for long. Mr. and Mrs. Slawson came quite prepared, and we were soon enjoying some games after lunch until I excused myself to help Thomas with some finishing touches. The program went very well, and this first meeting was over. I even got hugs before they left.
I think the next time I saw his parents was Easter of the next year (naturally). We went to Thomas' grandmother's house near Raleigh, MS. This time I got to meet the whole clan: all 12 of them (now there are more!). I watched as Thomas' mother organized the meals and made sure that her husband, children and grandchildren (and even I) had exactly what they wanted--that special drink or dessert or an extra helping of their favorite dish. "Doesn't she ever get tired?" I remember thinking to myself.
Since those first meetings, I have had many wonderful opportunities to watch Mom G work her magic; though she would be the first tell you that it's not magic of any kind, as she feeds a small army, cleans, does laundry, loves on everyone, takes the time to listen to what happened in everyone's day as she prepares more food, whips up that special dessert, goes to the store to get me tea last summer after becoming addicted to it in Russia, pops some popcorn, writes her list of everyone's favorite things and hangs it in a cupboard so she'll always have ready what they like....
There's more, too,
like playing outside in the sweltering heat of LA with her grandchildren...
...or, first thing in the morning, taking the time to color...
...or taking a grandchild in her arms at any moment to give the mamas a rest, or a moment to take a picture :)...
...but I don't want to embarrass her. I am very thankful for my mother-in-law. God has given my quite a beautiful gift in her. And the most beautiful thing about her isn't her love for her family, but rather the reason that she loves her family so much: She has received the saving grace of Christ and loves Him with all her heart, soul, mind and strength and therefore she can and does live for Him and lovingly serve those around her.
"But I don't want to say goodbye to Grandma!"
I love you, Mom G!