Two years ago today, Mom Kuykendall stepped into the arms of Jesus, healed and whole. I miss her often, especially when Ben makes her famous pancakes or biscuits and gravy, or when we recount a fun story about her with the kids. Today I found the eulogy that I struggled to get through at her service, and along with today's tears came an overwhelming sense of gratitude for her life and for the 16 wonderful years I had the privelege of calling her Mom.

"We all know that you get to choose your spouse, but you don't get to choose the family that accompanies them. We've all heard the jokes about mothers-in-law, the negative comments, the snide remarks.  Well, our mother-in-law defied them all. The first half of the poem I'm going to read was hanging on the wall at my Grandma's house, given to her by my Aunt Sherri. As a little girl I memorized that poem and thought to myself, one day I want to get married and give this poem to my husband's mom, just like my Aunt Sherri did. Well, years went by and I chose my husband. And thank you Jesus, he chose me, too! And I know that Vicki, Joseph, and Colleen would agree that along with our choice of a spouse came an amazing family attached to them. Last Monday morning as I processed the news of Mom's passing, the rest of the poem came to me like a flood and along with a flood of tears...

For Mom

original author unknown, italics mine

You are the mother I received the day I wed your son,

and I just want to thank you, Mom, for things that you have done.

You gave to me this gracious man with whom I share my life

You are his lovely mother, and I his lucky wife

You used to pat his little head, and now I hold his hand

You raised in love a little boy, then gave to me a man

But now you're walking streets of gold, you're healed and whole again

thank you for your life, your love, and thank you most for Ben

I've never known a better man than your sweet little boy

He made you proud, he is my Love, he's brought us both such joy

I will love him faithfully until I see your face

when once again, on that sweet day, together we'll embrace"

I love you, Mom!