A Mother’s Legacy: A Letter To the Mother-in-Law I Never Met

Mother’s Day isn’t the same without you. We celebrate motherhood and all the wonderful things about our mothers, but you aren’t here to be a part of those. It has often made me sad thinking about the fact I never got to meet you. You were gone before I ever even met your son. 

A Mother's Legacy: A Letter To the Mother-in-Law I Never Met

There’s so Many Things I Want to Tell You. 

I really wish I could have met you. 

I want to tell you thank you for raising such a magnificent husband. For believing in him and giving him the foundation to succeed in life. Because of you, he has reached far beyond his wildest dreams. 

The necklace you left for your son’s bride on their wedding day is the most beautiful necklace. I am so honored to be able to call it mine now. We honored your legacy that day. It was such a beautiful day and I know you were there. When he placed your necklace over my head and it fell to its place on my neck, I know you were blessing me and our marriage. I can’t thank you enough for thinking of me before you ever knew me. 

Your granddaughter has your feet. You would love them. Her feet are so cute and just like marshmallows. I know you’d see the resemblance too. We have your picture hanging in the playroom. Penelope loves to call you “Ma” and go over and kiss your picture every day. It is our way of keeping you present in our hearts. 

Your Legacy 

I learned of your strength and perseverance early on. Your son shared with me how you were positive no matter the circumstances you found yourself in. I see that in him now. He always stays positive and rarely complains. I know it is because of the life you lived. He learned that life is short and worrying it away with negativity would only ruin the moments we do have. 

Your son is a man of strength and honor while being caring and loving. He exhibits qualities that others long to have. I know these traits come from you, from all the hours you spent pouring your heart and soul into him.

He can cook as well as a trained chef, which I also know is from the countless meals you taught him how to prepare. His desire to make others feel welcomed and at home is a direct extension of your hospitality.

Your legacy lives on. Not only through your son, but also through your granddaughter. She is strong and passionate. She is going to move mountains in this world, and I know that tenacity comes from you. All the years you endured hardship and pain were not done in vain. Your son was watching, learning your patience, absorbing your strength, and cultivating your knowledge. 

A Mother’s Legacy

As I reflect on what I have learned and continue to learn from your legacy, I think about my own.

What will my legacy look like?

What will be said of me?

Will my life leave a positive and encouraging message?

I have some work to do. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day activities and forget to see the bigger picture. Whether or not I realize it,  I will leave a legacy too, because we all do. However, now that I am a mother, I have little eyes that watch every move I make. So my legacy doesn’t impact just me anymore. My life’s legacy is about much more now.

I also realize I am the only one in control of what my legacy looks like. I must be intentional, because it’s all my daughter will have once I am gone. Your legacy has taught me that. What you have left for your children is remarkable. It gives them hope, encouragement and love even after all the years you’ve been gone from them. 

So, on this Mother’s Day, I remember you through your legacy left behind. It is a beautiful legacy, one I am honored to be a part of. 


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Emily Patel
Emily is an ER nurse turned stay-at-home mama to a beautiful & spirited daughter, Penelope, and wife to an ER Physician. Prior to staying home, she was in the ER setting for over ten years, where she met her husband in 2015. She's an Iowa native, but new to Cedar Rapids since 2013. In 2018 she started started an Intentional Motherhood blog called OakB.Co with the intention to encourage, help, and energize mothers while giving them tools to lessen their workload, help build an authentic community, and inspire them to realize they are enough. She's a busy mama who pretty much lives on coffee and donuts!