I wrote this poem of gratitude for Hannah, my mother-in-law, in 2002. Many aspects of our life and family structure have changed through the years, yet the love and appreciation that inspired this poem are as strong as ever. In honor of all the love and relationships that are celebrated today, I share this poem with you.

Gifts

Raised to care passionately

Respects life

Teases and laughs

Responsibly dedicated

Uniquely wonderful

None other compares

From your womb to this home

 

Acceptance

of this girl he brought home

As if I were your own

Sincere love

Never making me feel I should be

more than I am

Embracing me

Bringing me into your family

 

Space

to live our own lives

make our own mistakes

believe we know what we are doing

even when we do not

To be part of a whole

and yet separate

Celebrating our new family unit

in our own way

and with you

 

Tolerance

of my quirks

of our needs

requests

wishes

 

Love

To be present

but never stifling

Helpful and eager

but never intrusive

Caring and supportive

and always so gentle

 

You worry about the kind of mother-in-law you are

I worry about the kind of daughter-in-law I am

You are just right

I strive to be better

You are all I need

and I am so grateful to have

this family

you

– Sarah M. Kipp 2002