I have struggled in trying to verbalize how you have impacted my life, not for lack of things to say but rather because I fear I will not be able to adequately express all that you mean to me.
I met your kids before I met you, first Kendra and then Winn, and eventually Tim and Kim. I knew something about you when I got to know your children. I knew that they had a good mother when I saw their character and when they told stories around the campfire at NYR of their parents and of family memories at the Cradic house. I liked you before I met you.
And then I met you, along with your sisters Jenny and Rowena, and I learned something else about you, that you were a good sister and a good daughter, that your family was close and strong and godly. And when you smiled, it took up your whole face. And then I not only liked you, but I admired you.
And then I began to get to know you. At first I observed your humble wisdom and quiet spirit and beautiful heart from afar, and then as I began to seek your counsel from time to time, your thoughtful advice was always exactly what I needed. As my mother-in-law you have never made me feel as though I’m not good enough for your son but have always made me feel like I belong. As I have watched you be a wife to Gary over the years, I have learned to be more patient and sensitive with Winn, to be more cheerful with everyday tasks, and to be a better listener. As I’ve watched you be a mother and a grandma, I’ve learned that nothing on earth delights you more than your own precious family. And so as I got to know you, not only did I like you and admire you, but I quickly grew to love you as well.
I see you in Winn. When he smiles, it reaches up to his eyes, and his laugh is easy, like yours. Sometimes when he sits and listens to people’s troubles, or when he gives them caring advice, I think about how it is probably something he learned from you. Or when he is the first to put his desires aside for the sake of others, I wonder how many times he has observed you doing the very same thing. I can’t thank you enough for your selfless and Christ-like influence in his life.
We hope to have children of our own someday, and I am tortured by the fact that if cancer has its way, they won’t get to meet you on this earth. My only comfort is that because of your legacy, they will get to meet you in heaven, and for that I am forever grateful.
I love you, Sherill.