"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Proverbs 31: 10,11,12,27,28 KJV
Just as certain as I believe that God picked out Willis C. Powell, Sr. to be my husband. I am just as certain that God had him conceived by Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Powell into her womb so that they would be my Father and Mother in law.
Last Sunday was Mother's Day and I blogged a tribute to my mother. All week I have been thinking and praying because a good and Godly mother is such a blessing, but oh, what a blessing is a good and Godly mother in law. The verses above can never do this loving and gentle woman complete justice. but they are from God's Word so they surely apply to my mother in law. Annie Lois Conrad Powell.
From the first time I saw her, (Shug, as he will be call from now on in this post), invited me to a Christmas party at his church. After the party he took me by to met Mr. and Mrs. Powell. I thought, "what am I going to talk about, I don't even know them." We went into their house, and I sat down by Mrs. Powell. Shug said not a word of introduction, just went to get a drink of water. For about one second I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. Then Glory to God Mr. and Mrs. Powell begin talking to me non-stop. I felt as if I had known them all my life. I loved them instantly. (I learned later that Mr. Powell chastised Shug for not introducing me to them.)
Mrs. Powell was basically a quiet person in public, but in her own home, she was just amazing. She could come up with some of the funniest stories. Not only could she tell the stories, but she could do the funny expressions and faces that made the story even more hilarious. Her complete faith in Jesus Christ was always very evident and she was always a shining light for Him. Every time she gave a testimony in church she always thanked God for her "happy home".
Mr. and Mrs. Powell's children grew up with such a rich heritage of love and blessing made possible by their parent's genuine love, devotion and respect for each other. I have never before or since met a husband and wife more in love or more in complete harmony of heart and mind. What one wanted the other wanted the same thing, no arguing to reach a compromise or agreement on an issue, just what one wanted, the other wanted and vice-versa.
At dinner, (most people now call it lunch, but at 11:30 am. it was dinner at the Powell home.) Mrs. Powell never knew from day to day how many would be sitting down at her table to eat, but no problem, there was always enough to go around and plenty left over for late stragglers who just happened to drop by and Mrs. Powell always insisted on them getting just a bite of vittles before they left.
Mr. and Mrs. Powell, and their oldest child, Pearl who lived with them always called me Glory instead of Gloria, I loved it. All three are now with Jesus in heaven and I long to hear them call me Glory again, but fortunately, Shug's sister Levon still calls me Glory, so it is still music to my ears.
Mrs. Powell taught me how to cook the way that Shug liked to eat, because I did not know how to cook. I worked and would go by a fast food place for supper, so there was no need to learn to cook. But I spent many hours in Mrs. Powell's kitchen learning to use a pinch of this, a dab of that and just a smidge of the other.
My daughter April was four years old when Shug and I married, Mrs. Powell immediately bought a girl head charm to go on her grandmother pin, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I knew so many women that had entered into marriage already with a child, and that child was always "her" child, not a child of the new family. This was never the case with April, in fact when Shug asked me to marry him, which was 16 days after we met, part of his proposal of marriage was that I would let him adopt April, so he could be her daddy. (That's always been my Shug, so full of love.) The whole family, brothers and sisters loved April from day one and that has always been such a blessing to me. April loved Mr. and Mrs. Powell with an unexplainable, unfathomable love, and to her Aunt Pearl was just an extension of Mrs. Powell. She loved them with all her heart.
Mrs. Powell had her own vocabulary that she used, just a certain way she would pronounce words, made perfect sense to us and so most of the time we used the same words she did, especially when we were talking with her, we would tease her and I can still see the impish grin on her face, one of her daughters, Mary Lou has that same grin and I see her mother in her in so many ways and mannerisms.
April and I speak to each other on the phone almost every day and not a conversation goes by that we don't have some Grandmother Powell vocabulary in the conversation.
Not only did she love April unconditionally, but she also loved me as a true daughter, and I knew from day one that is how it would be because there was no pretense in Mrs. Powell at all, she loved me and oh, how I loved her. She had a massive brain hemmorage on January 29, 1991, and early in the morning on January 30, 1991 she went to be with the Lord. Mr. Powell was still alive, but I believe that his heart died with her. Less than nine months later he joined her in heaven. Even though we grieved for him, there was a blessed peace because he was finally at peace for the first time since she had died. Pearl went to meet them in 2005, and it gives me such a sense of peace to know they are waiting for the rest of the family to join them one day. Jesus is coming soon and I am glad we can be together again, I hope she can make me some tomato gravy and cat head biscuits.
Mrs. Powell gave me such a beautiful and Godly legacy of love and acceptance and how to be another mother instead of (in law). I hope that I can follow in her footsteps as a good and Godly mother to my son's wives.
Mr. and Mrs. Powell, Pearl and Joe Edward (who died in 1973), I still miss you every day. Shug, April, Willis and John Coy and I talk about ya'll every time we sit down and have a grand old time of nostalgia and reminiscing.
Copyright 2011 Gloria B. Powell. All rights reserved.