The Lord graciously took my dear mother-in-law, Letty Hueni, to Himself on April 23rd after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and the effects of several strokes. Bed-ridden for her last five years, she was wonderfully cared for by Dad and the surrounding family. She never left home. I thought I would post some thoughts about mom over the next few days…
Back in those days when Susan and I were engaged to be married, my 23rd birthday came along. Mom asked what I would like and I told her that a new bottle of Drakkar Noir would be nice. For the uninitiated, Drakkar Noir was, in 1989, about the coolest cologne a guy could splash on.
Well, my birthday arrived and with it a box from Mom and Dad. I opened it up only to find the largest spritzer of cologne on the open market. The thing was huge. In fact, I am still using it! Scents and sprays may have moved on but I am still happily exuding 1989!
This penchant for the large was a mom trademark. That same summer I was working back in Canada and she insisted on sending a dinner every week in my work cooler for the long drive home from Indiana. This was remarkable. Five or six cold meat sandwiches (with ketchup nonetheless!), two full sized bag of chips (“you like Doritos?”), two full baggies of carrot slices, other assorted fruit and vegetables, and a few sodas (“you like Dr. Pepper?”). I don’t think I ever told her, but that “supper” would last for the drive home and all the way to Wednesday lunch!
Then there was the year I asked for a bag of the infamous Leman’s mints for a Christmas gift. When we got to Indiana there was a good-sized box under the little artificial tree that had my name on it. Leman’s mints came in small bags, not a box. I was curious, but not shocked. When I opened my present there were 48 bags of mints in the box!
Now, I used to think that mom just thought I was enormous and thus everything needed to be big. But I saw her and Dad give generously to so many through the years that I learned it was only a sign of her deep love and generosity that she gave so much. For, it wasn’t just gifts. Mom gave her food, her work, her affection, her joy, her time, her babysitting, her home, her thoughtfulness, and her prayers in the same huge portions. And she lived like a woman who expected nothing in return.