Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Celebration of In-Laws

Katie at MeMaw and PePaw's. She's watching the deer.

MeMaw getting all Katie's "sugar."

Grandpa (Dagy) sitting on the porch with Katie.

MeMaw, PePaw, and Dan watching the herd of deer.

The deer they're watching.

One of the three cats-Momma.

My mother died of breast cancer when I was in my early thirties and my dad died in 2001, so I have been without parents for a long time. God has richly blessed me with a mother-in-law and father-in-law who have filled the huge hole left by my parent's deaths. They have not only been surrogate parents for me, but have embraced my sister and her family as their own. Every Christmas Eve for years we gathered at their house for barbecue brisket and all the trimmings. We hurried through the presents so that we could get to the poker playin'. (Doesn't that sound like a great way to celebrate the birth of Christ?? Ha!) PePaw saved his change all year for the Christmas Eve game when all the grandkids tried to win the pot. Mind you, most of them didn't know how to play poker! It didn't was just fun. These Christmas Eve celebrations continued until just recently when they decided they just were not up to having it anymore. We still get together on Christmas Day for dinner at our house, but we do miss those Christmas Eves.

My in-laws live in Magnolia, a growing town north of Houston. My father-in-law was a builder before he retired and they live in a Victorian style home he built on two heavily-treed acres. On every one of those trees there is a bird or squirrel feeder. They have 3 cats and a herd of deer for pets. Every night they sit out on a porch on the side of the garage to watch the antics of nature in their little kingdom. Their place looks like a resort, it has been so well-tended.

However, things are beginning to change. PePaw is now 83 years old and has had colon cancer and lymphoma. He can't hold a hammer anymore because of his arthritis. He seems to be shrinking before our eyes. He asked me last night who I thought should inherit his father's old fiddle. (I told him me, naturally!)
MeMaw, on the other had, is as spry and sharp as ever. She plays bridge once a week, doles out groceries at the food pantry, mows the yard, and cares for PePaw.

I know that we have a lot of decisions to make about their future...but I wanted to pause and appreciate the present.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

Exodus 20:12

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