Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ginger, not the Gilligan's Island Gal

My mother-in-law Ginger has a birthday on April 27. This post will honor her through the letters of mother-in-law.

She's known by a few names, Virginia being her given name, but she answers more to Jenny and Ginger. When I married Chris, it was easy to call her Mom. Maybe because mine had already passed away, but I know my mom Stella would approve because she too was Mom to more than just her biological kids.

Online dating. When Chris and I got engaged only after knowing each other for two weeks after meeting on, Mom said, "What took you so long?" Can you imagine any groom's mother saying that? Probably had something to do with her experience on Yahoo Personals and conversing with James for a few weeks, finally meeting him in person, and then marrying him about a week later.

Thanksgiving, Mom's favorite family get-together. She hosts it with all the fixings, but her pies steal the show. If we're there on Wednesday night, we eat pie. We have a piece for breakfast the next day. Then one for dessert after the noon mealwhich just might be at 9:30 in the morning. Then one for a snack and another for dessert with supper leftovers. If we're not heading home until Friday afternoon, we usually find room for another slice or two. One year I gained five pounds!

pies, pies, & more pies ~ Thanksgiving 2013

Hair. Hers is white. Pure white. Strangers ask her for the name of the color, but it's natural. Maybe her white hair is where my husband Chris gets his little grey strip. He too gets accused of coloring it.

Ginger and her pretty white hair with her late husband James.

Empathetic. She understood my plight of step-mom-ness because she was one too.

Resilient. Her life story is one of triumph and overcoming. She said, "Regardless of what I've gone through, I have always known that God had a plan for my life." What a testament to her faith in Christ providing for heroften in ways she wasn't aware of at the time. Her spiritually strong heart keeps on ticking, and and for that, we are thankful for her 74th birthday.

Intelligent. She's an avid reader whose stacks of books impressed me the first time I entered her home. Now she reads a lot on her iPad by checking out electronic copies from the library. Yes, she's tech savvy.

Needlework. Mom used to do quite a bit of crosstitch. Now she's back to quilting and other crafts.

Love. Her prayers, Facebook communication, and phone calls let us know we are not far from her heart and mind.

 my mother-in-law Ginger with me a few days before her birthday

Approved of me. She told me shortly after Chris and I got married that he must really love me because she thought he'd never leave Bartlesville. I took that as her acceptance of his choice. 

Words. She likes to play Scrabble, but be prepared to play by her rules. That means looking up the words in the dictionary before playing the tiles.

What positive words would describe your mother-in-law? What traits does she possess that you admire? What makes her unique?


  1. My mother-in-law has been long gone from this earth, but she always loved and accepted me. I really felt loved by her.

    1. We are lucky to both have had that connection, Shelli. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Thank you Melodie for this beautiful tribute. So proud of you and the Godly young woman you are. God truly blessed me when he chose you for my son's wife. I'm glad to call you daughter and I'm glad your Mom, Stella doesn't mind. One day I'll get to meet her and thank her for sharing you with me. Love you so much!!!

    1. Thanks Mom! I feel very blessed be part of the Harris clan. I always enjoy our visits. If my mom was alive, you two would laugh up a storm together! I love you.