Normally on Tuesdays, I talk about inspiration and, as can be expected, it is mostly quilting related. However, today I want to talk about a woman who has been an inspiration to me for the past 46 years…..
Her name is Esther Louise Arnold, she was my Mother-In-Law, and on Saturday morning she went to be with the Lord…..the place that she longed to be!!
She was not a crafty person and she was completely unapologetic for that. She told her husband that she could type when he married her and she could still type….why did he think that she needed to do anything else!!
She was fearless, once killing a rattlesnake with her shoe…..her TINY size 6 shoe. When we asked why she didn’t leave it, she said that it was heading for the pile of hay and if it got in there she would never know where it was, so she beat it to death!!
She was a fixture at First National Bank in Abilene, Texas. She treated EVERY customer the same, whether they were oil millionaires or poor migrant workers. We recently learned that they still use her as an example in their new employee training session!!
She was 5 foot, 1/2 inch tall and she was PROUD of that 1/2 inch!! She had short little legs but could walk faster than anyone I knew. I still remember her striding across the bank lobby with her heels doing a clickety-clack across the floor. One of her co-workers called her the “original energizer bunny”!!
She LOVED her grand-kids and never showed partiality to one over the other. Her favorite time to visit us was during the middle of our kid’s busy, busy sports seasons because that meant that she could see them play ball!
Probably my favorite memory of her was when Jenny was a Senior in high school and her Fastpitch Softball team was headed to the State Playoffs. When we called Esther to tell her the good news she called back about 15 minutes later and said that she had booked her flight and would arrive on Monday!! She spent the week cheering on the girls and surreptitiously slipping Jenny cash between games….
Esther had style!!!
She knew how to dress and she could make anything look good, even the shorts that she rocked well into her 90’s!!!
She was always supportive of my quilting and, if I ever told her that a quilt had been accepted into a show, she would ask EVERY time we talked if it had won a ribbon!!
She loved her kids and was always excited when good things happened for them. When Michael started doing leather work, she wanted to see exactly what he was doing…..
She taught me SO many practical things….
- how to cut up a whole chicken so that it didn’t look like a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Masacre!!!
- that it was okay to serve Stove-Top stuffing!!
- that I could return ANYTHING to a store….as long as I had the receipt!!!
I would often call her when I was driving around town running errands and her standard greeting was “Where are you headed?”. After I told her she would always say “I wish I was there to go with you”!!!
Probably the biggest thing that she taught me was how to be a good Mother-In-Law. I know that M-I-L’s have a horrible reputation, but she always treated me with the greatest of respect, just as if I was her daughter. I hope to emulate that!!
She had been ill for almost two years and hadn’t been herself for about eighteen months. The last time that I was able to speak with her was over a year ago and, naturally, we talked about food. I mentioned to her that I was making her Fudge and Peanut Brittle recipes for Christmas. She perked up and answered that it sounded so good. After that, her mind was gone again….
I have missed her for the last 2 years but am happy to know that she is out of pain and is rejoicing with her Lord in heaven.
……until we meet again!!