This beautiful, vibrant woman is my mother in law Erin. Some may think, “Oh, that’s cute. She likes her husband’s mom,” but it goes a lot deeper than that. I never knew before meeting Erin and the H fam that a family who wasn’t my own could and would really take me in fully and completely, to be a part of them. I had been in some hurtful situations before that conditioned me into thinking that in-laws were people you had to deal with your whole marriage. Then I get plopped into the most considerate, warm, loyal, compassionate family imaginable, and I get to have them for eternity. The most unspeakably tender of mercies from the Lord—ever. As the mother of the H fam, Erin has set an incredible example of love and selflessness and faith for her children, and they have all grown (or are growing (Libby is only five)) into stellar servants of God and people who want to be and do Good. I believe that her kids are wonderful largely in part because of how much they love her and don’t want to disappoint or hurt her. She inspires those around her to be better and do better.
I love and admire Erin for so many reasons. She is beautiful, gregarious, a great conversationalist, she asks questions to get to know you, she has an awesome vocabulary, she is one of the most giving women I have ever known, she is humbly confident, she is an incredible mother and teacher, she is passionate about things, she loves the Lord and trusts in His plan, she is a gourmet cook and the type of homemaker that makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur, she would do anything–ANYTHING– for you, she is always smiling her beautiful smile, and she just makes people feel good. And she remains all these things and more even after an unfathomable loss that would leave anyone else bitter and spiritually shriveled up, and understandably so. I weep even now as I’m reflecting on what Erin went through losing a son. But today I’m not weeping because of how sad it is, although I have done my share of shedding tears over that, too. The tears come today, and have come before, because I am blown away at how she remains this sparkling beacon of strength and faith in spite of what she went through, and is going through. These tears are tears of awe. I am in awe of my mother in law. This uniquely wonderful woman is my mama. I feel so blessed to have Erin, to love and be loved by, to learn from, and to share life together. I would love to be half the womam she is one day.