Friday, December 2, 2016

#LIGHTtheWORLD: My Hero, Margie



My husband's mother, Margie, is the smartest, wittiest, and most delightful woman I know.  She is 91 years old and can recite all the poetry she studied as an English Literature major at BYU back in the day.  She went to graduate school and received her Master's in Speech Pathology.  This woman has done it all, seen it all, and heard it all and she still craves learning and serving.

When I married into Margie's family, I became the richest girl on earth to have her as my mother-in-law.  She gave us our space.  She didn't put any pressure on us to have Sunday dinner every week. She was patient, loving, faithful and optimistic.  I loved driving to her home on Sunday evenings during our own graduate school years just to sit at her table and ask her counsel.  That's what is so perfect about her.  She waits for me to ask her advice.  Only when I've been in very poor spirits has she sought to give me counsel without my asking first, and what a blessing that has been.

It's been several years since we moved her from her home, into an apartment, and then to an assisted-living center near us.  Every time we've helped her move I've been taught by what she has that's truly important to her.  Shelves and shelves of books she's read and journals she's kept, family histories she has collected, and photographs organized.  And still even more shelves and filing cabinets filled with her own musings and publications.  She's 91 and she just finished her third novel published in just a few years.  She's 91 and she wrote a trilogy!  She serves the people in her care center and makes her little rounds every night, taking walks around the building, looking in on her friends who have struggles and are lonely.

Margie's vision is in serious decline due to macular degeneration and she needs hearing aides and a walker, but she doesn't give up.  Her table next to her favorite chair is still piled high with things she's reading with the help of special glasses and audio cassettes for the blind.  She studies her scriptures faithfully, every single day.  She still attends the temple with her friends.  Margie still has a church calling in her branch and speaks in Sacrament meeting when called upon.  She only recently was released as a counselor in the Relief Society presidency.  Imagine that!  

Every time we visit her, I love to study her little table and area around her chair.  She spends a lot of time in that chair, but she's productive there.  It could be considered clutter if you didn't know her, but when your mind is as active as Margie's, you require pens and scissors, tape and markers, paper clips and Post-It notes, paper and pencil, and stacks of paper and books at your immediate disposal.

I noticed many years ago that I have developed my own kind of Margie corner, too.  When there are so many projects going on all the time, it's useless to put everything away because it will just come back out again.  It makes me think about Margie and what she's working on or learning or studying.  I know for sure she's studying about the Savior on a daily basis, so I make sure I am.  I know she's trying to learn something new every day, so I try to do the same.  And I know she loves her family fiercely, which I also strive to do.  Margie desires to serve her fellow brothers and sisters and though her body limits her physical capacity to do what she once did, she still lifts and serves with her lively conversations in the dining room and when she shares time with us.  She is serving with her heart and with her soul and with her testimony.



I could right 50,000 words about Margie, but the most important thing for you to know is that she loves her Heavenly Father and her Savior, Jesus Christ.  She knows them.  She loves her family and she loves me.  She has let me be me and taken me into her heart with open and loving arms, never judging, only cherishing.  I'm grateful for her for being my husband's mother and my children's grandmother.  It is because of Margie that my children play the violin and love the written word.  I have no doubt they inherited her quick wit and her thirst for knowledge.  I love Margie's testimony.  I love Margie.

Whoever said that mother-in-laws were hard to deal with never knew Margie.  She has given me exactly what I needed, what my husband needed, and what my children needed.  I will be forever in her debt. So today I think, what is Margie doing today to serve others?  And then I know I need to get to work.







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