When I met Gloria I immediately fell in love with her. She was kind, gentle, friendly, and caring. She was supportive and she welcomed me into her family with open arms. Once she learned that my family lived out of state she told me that her home was open for me to always have a place to go during the holidays. In that moment I knew that even if Khalel and I didn't advance our relationship beyond dating that I always wanted to keep in touch with Gloria. She became my confidant early on in the start of my relationship with my husband. Just like any new relationship my husband and I bumped heads on a few things as we were getting to know each other. A few times I would call on his mom for advice. She knew him well and she helped me navigate my words when I spoke to him so that my words would be heard. She never took his side simply because he was her son; she always took the side of the right. And when I was wrong she helped me see that too, but in the most kind & loving way.
I admired her for being happily married for 49 years to my father-in-law and for them raising four intelligent boys. Their union as husband and wife was a blessing and has been a blessing to my very own family. I often thanked Gloria for raising the man I love. I often complimented her for what she did well. I prayed for her. I spent time with her. I showed interest in her life. We had a healthy relationship. We had a bond. In her I had more than a mother-in-law; she was my friend, my counselor, my prayer warrior, my mom, my GoGo. I love her so much and I will always miss her.
During the times that I asked her about the challenges of motherhood, marriage, and just life in general, she frequently replied that she and her husband made it through "by the grace of the good Lord." Over time I found myself using those words to remember to lean on God. Her words have quickly become my mantra as I grieve that she is no longer here for me to call, no longer here for me to hug, no longer here to laugh with, or to advise me about being a wife, a mother, and a woman of faith. Whenever I think how am I going to make it through I hear her words, "By the grace of the good Lord."
I am going to miss the family time that we spent cooking and cleaning in the kitchen together, her wisdom, her prayers, and her smile. Her presence always made me want to be a better woman, a better wife, a better mother, a better friend, and just an overall better person. She was a blessing. She epitomized the words giving & selflessness and she always did more for others than she did for herself. She was a phenomenal woman! I pray that the seeds she planted in me and in our family flourish in love and in her loving memory.
My blog is called Glad Tidings By Mel. Years ago Gloria owned a florist business called Glad Tidings, which means Good News. Before I started my blog I prayed for a blog name and Good News came to me. When I mentioned it to my husband he said, "Oh like Glad Tidings; you should call your blog Glad Tidings." I asked his mother for permission to use that name and she eagerly said, Yes! May her memories live on through Glad Tidings By Mel. I love you GoGo. My GoGo.