The Greatest Mother-in-Love

My mother-in-love, Andrina, and me

She cooks and cleans for him, calling him daily to make sure things are going okay. She helps with his bills and cares for his children. He’s spoiled. And each calculated act is meant to show him how much he needs her. This is not the woman of a single dad’s dreams, but the woman in a wife’s nightmares: the mother-in-law from the crucible below. I have heard this story about the antagonistic mother-in-law and the outraged daughter-in-law and the clueless son who just wants peace. I thank God that my mother-in-law is not my nightmare but indeed one of my really good friends. Andrina Smith, my mother-in-love, has been a good friend of mine for a while, but in the beginning I had my concerns.

The first time we met was at her church. She was in the choir so I would meet her after the service. She and her girlfriends seemed to be in a competition about who would meet me first so a few ran to introduce themselves and then with satisfying smirks turned to the choir to chide Andrina, who frowned back at them. All the jockeying seemed to be more about them and less about me. During our second encounter, she continually spoke to me about this Christian conference she intended and focused heavily on the evangelistic information. She didn’t catch my ‘don’t bother me’ cues so she kept sharing and sharing even though I wasn’t looking at her, my body was turned away from her, and I was trying to listen to the host who was beginning the program we were attending; she carried on, only stopping when someone needed her. And another close encounter was her trying to convince me of theological views regarding women that I believed to be untrue. All this was before I married her son. And I still did because I knew God sent him to me and I eventually figured Andrina was just being Andrina.

More talks, prayer and grace got us past these tough spots. I realized Andrina and her friends were happy to meet someone her son thought was worth meeting and she wanted to make sure that I wasn’t a heathen who would try to run him. I don’t know what made her believe I was okay, but when she invited me to a conference with her and her friends and to share a room with all of them, she won me over. I wasn’t even married to her son but with three days and two nights with her, there was no doubt that her expression toward me was real.

She is a take charge kind of woman, my kind of woman, and I love her so dearly. My mother-in-love is a fun-loving, soul-caring, powerhouse of a Christian woman who loves me like I came from her womb. We’ve traveled together, shopped together, prayed together, warfared together, cried together, laughed together and have totally disagreed. She is definitely someone that I would have chosen as my friend. I’m so glad God sent her to me, giving me another mother and another shero.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith


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