People make jokes about their mother-in-law.

I’ve heard them all. There’s even a song about them.

But I just wanted to say something about my mother-in-law. She represents everything there is to appreciate about Southern charm and propriety.

Her name is Carrie Lee. Now for those of you who don’t know, Southern girls of another generation often went by their first and middle names. My mother was Sara Lou.

She had five daughters, and had she stopped at four, my life would have been very drab and unhappy. She loved her husband and took care of her own mother when she had a stroke in her later years.

She served in many capacities to make her world a better place.

That’s what lifelong learners do.

She has never been one to seek the limelight, but always took an interest in others.

She has always been a woman who deserved my utmost respect.

I loved her. And she loved me. Her last words to me were “I love you.”

She has been gone twenty years as of today.

My wish for you is that you could know what it means to have a beloved mother-in-law.