A Tribute to My Dear Mother-in-Law

Love for Husband and Family

We are very sad tonight as we received the dreaded phone call, especially when you live a half-country away from your family.  Kevin and I learned that his mother died this evening.  Rhoda was a lovely woman and for me, was like my own mother.  She met my father-in-law in Ireland during WWII, married him 18 months later and was in the marriage for nearly 60 years until Robert died about 5 years ago.  Rhoda left her family in Ireland and came to the US at a young age, learned the American ways, became a nurse, and EMT and raised 7 children.

After being apart for about 15 months, Rhoda received a “We can marry on Saturday” telegram on a Weds.  And here they are several days later.  What a beautiful couple.

A war bride and her handsome soldier - 1945

It was another 9 months before all the war brides were shipped (literally) to the US.  Here they are soon after they were finally together.

After moving to the US - ~1946

Bob and Rhoda raised seven children who birthed 19 grandchildren who had 8 great-grandchildren (thus far).  She adored every one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and they loved her.   We are blessed with many photos of her holding them in a loving way.

As the years passed by Bob and Rhoda’s love for each other was always so obvious – very endearing.  Even in her last months when Rhoda’s memory was failing, she loved to tell the story of the day she met Robert and how she went to dances in Ireland with her mother watching them from the balcony (that’s one’s tough, huh?).

As they became old together, we most often saw them together. Here are several photos of those later years.  After Bob died, Rhoda was lost.  Tonight she joined him again forever.

Fishing together

Rhoda, you were a wonderful and loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother.

11 thoughts on “A Tribute to My Dear Mother-in-Law

  1. Growing up hearing the tale of grandpa the soldier and his Irish bride, I loved the storybook romance of it–destiny and passion overcoming so many obstacles.

    I know a favorite moment Shaun and I have of our grandparents is from a time they came to visit while you and Dad were away on vacation. We were eating breakfast and were all in our pajamas. Grandma teased Grandpa for having the waist of his pajama bottoms too high. With a glint in his eye, he pulled them up past his chest and waited for her response. When she saw him, they both cracked up.

    Moments like that taught me that love is more than the fairy tale. It is being able to elicit pure joy in one another, even after decades together.

    This June I get to marry the love of my life. And in the fall, I get to see my big brother marry his. I hope that in some way, Grandma and Grandpa are able to be there with us on those days, because they role modeled to us what great love should be.

  2. Annette as we get close to our 40th anniversary it really makes me appreciate my mom & dad and the fact that they were so close to celebrating their 60th anniversary when my dad passed away in 2005. I have enjoyed reading your sewing blog because I know how you enjoy sewing for the people in your life that you love. Thanks for posting the pictures of my mom and telling my parents favorite story, of how they met in Ireland during WWII and got married. Our story isn’t quite as dramatic as theirs, but you did wait for 14 months for me to return from Viet Nam so that we could get married. I returned from Viet Nam at the end of April, 1971 and we were married on June 12, 1971 and now Megan & Chris will be married on June 12th of this year.
    Continue to enjoy yourself as you sew her wedding dress. I love you & all of the things that you do for our family.

  3. Annette, I tried to read your tribute aloud to Margie, but I couldn’t get past the first few lines. It is very moving. Rhoda loved you like a daughter. Thank you for this.

  4. Dear Annette and Kevin,
    I am so sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your Mother-in-Law/Mother. Thank you for sharing her life with me and feel free to continue to share more of your wonderful family memories.
    May God comfort you and your family during this time of sorrow for your loss and also bless you in this time of joy knowing that a wonderful couple is togeher again. May the love that Rhoda and Bob shared be a testament to marriage to your family and friends and others as you share their life.

  5. Annette,
    What a beautiful tribute to Rhoda. (and Bob) I’m in tears. You all were very lucky to have such a loving Mother/Mother-in-law and she was lucky to have such a loving family. You all will have many beautiful and funny (Megan) memories of them both. My thoughts are with you all.


  6. Thank you so much, Annette. We are such a lucky family. Great parents, great siblings and in-laws that feel like true sisters and brothers.
    love, Susan

  7. I didn’t know Aunt Rhoda well. I met her once, and my impression was that she was a gentle personality, and a true lady. I’m so glad she was part of our family, and I know she and Uncle Bob reared a wonderful family, as they were true role models.

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