My Dad-in-law, Mom, and Mom-in-law


On April 25th my Dad-in-law was laid to rest, having fallen asleep at 94 years. He wanted to live to 100, or so he thought for a long time but he was suffering the humbling and troubles that come with living so long.

1981 Dad and his granddaughters Laura and Julie


Dad recovering at St Mary's visit from Chip jan 2015


There is so much that could be said about his life, his influence as a teacher and middle school principal, and a WWII veteran who fought in a tank battalion in the Pacific theater. He was very dear, kind of crusty, affectionate, loving, wise. The Lord was good enough to let me have him – indirectly as my Dad-in-law – for a long time – he even scolded me just as he did his daughter. His wife Sally was a wonderful caregiver, beloved wife, and friend to him – the salt of the earth is Sally.

There was another important person in our lives, my Mother – Elena (Helen) Rose Torelli Thomas. Helen – what a lovely name! And she too was a faithful person who gave of herself to us. Look how sweet!

Proud Mom with baby and her niece Betsy 001

Today I remember dear Helen, as my husband remembers Grace, his own darling Mother who gave birth to him as a teen, and waited with him for Dad to come home from the war. Because of Grace and Helen we their children wanted for nothing, humanly speaking.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your love!




22 thoughts on “My Dad-in-law, Mom, and Mom-in-law

  1. Aaaaaaaaw!! Hugs! Amen! What a Wonderful Lord to give you such loving people!! Happy Mom’s day! Psalm 127:3! What a privilege to be called Mom and what a blessing to be called “Mom”!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful commemoration!

    Though I am celebrating my first Mother’s Day without my mom I, too, am remembering how we would cook up a dinner out of a near empty cupboard and work jigsaw puzzles together. My mother was mentally ill and an alcoholic yet I have some wonderful memories, probably more cherished than had my mother been a “normal” mom since those times were few. Like you said, the Lord is wonderfully good in all He does and for me, that has been remembering the good things of my mother and not lamenting the bad apart from His lifting me up. I have always admired mom for being a thin, 4’10” woman pregnant with us twins and sick almost every day of her pregnancy! And, this morning I was blessed by my number one and only son with a visit and a beautiful card and bunches of hugs!

    Happy Mother’s Day, Maria! God bless you as you have blessed me and then some more! amen~ \o/

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    • So glad your son remembered you so lovingly this morning, Sherry! In my experience too, the tough times are associated with joy, as yours are associated with special times of inventing from little and the fun of working on a puzzle with your Mom. I’m sorry she had this affliction!
      So you are a twin? That is so neat. Are you similar in your ways?

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      • We are so not alike! My brother is a liberal democrat to the point of socialism, I’m a conservative (though when we were in our early twenties it was the other way around! We don’t talk politics with each other…He has the curly thick hair and long eyelashes and I got stuck with baby fine hair and barely there eyelashes-he was handsome and quite popular in school while I was a homely looking wallflower. LOL! He’s tall, I’m short. He thinks its funny to tell people we are twins since we are so different in looks and personalities. But I was born with the brains, so everyone says. We both know that it was by God’s love for us that we were brother and sister because we were there for each other when things got nasty at home. He is definitely another blessing to me.

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          • Yes, but it wasn’t always so-we had a falling out over my mother’s antics and he never saw her again. He didn’t care much for my continued relationship with her because of how she treated us even as adults. But now that she has passed we are renewing our relationship. And, to increase God’s blessings, my brother has also been reunited with the daughter that he and his girlfriend at the time had to give up for adoption 35 years ago. Life is good! She is a beautiful lady! \o/

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            • Sherry, I’m so glad you and your brother are reconciled, and that his daughter – your niece! – and he are reunited. That is multiplied blessings. I know something about mental illness from my own family, its hardship on everyone.


        • Sherry, I can so relate to your family. My upbringing was very similar. My sister, the oldest, is also very liberal, but I love her with a God given love. Through His grace we are there for each other.
          Mothers are so very important, and it is so terribly sad when they fail at their God given task. I am glad that you had a happy Mother’s Day.

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  3. What precious pictures. Familial love is such a wondrous thing, it holds us up, strengthening us as we walk this narrow way. God our Father pours out His love upon us through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so we are able to share His love with others. Praise God you have had such loving relations. Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

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