Today, the world lost the strongest, most loving woman I have ever known: my mother-in-law, Shirley Trantham. The epitome of the Southern Lady. After a short but ferocious battle with a disease that knows no mercy, she has moved on to her just reward.
I will never forget her spirit and determination. She taught me so many things: how to truly look at life and see what most do not see, to appreciate what I have now because it can all be taken away in the flash of a moment, to see myself as someone with worth and value who has much to contribute, to love so deeply it hurts, to laugh with complete abandon.
In her life, and the lives of her husband and youngest daughter, who were waiting on the other side to welcome her, I found the true meaning of unconditional love as they accepted me, a knight in not-so-shining armor sweeping in to carry off the eldest daughter, as if I had always been a member of the family. I was accepted not for who I could be or who they wanted me to be, but simply for who I am.
So, rest in peace, Shirley. The world’s loss is Heaven’s gain. I will always be proud to have known you, to have loved you, to have called you Mom…