Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

God looked down and thought, “I need someone who is willing . . . willing to provide the fatherly love, support, and strength this woman so desperately needs.”

So God made my father-in-law.

He knew my heart was shattered after losing my father to tongue cancer so he gave me someone who would show me how to let go of my anger by showering me with unconditional love. Someone who accepted me for me.  Someone who would help me reunite with my love affair with food. Someone who would sit at the table with me and become my new recipe taste tester. Someone who would brag to all of his friends about my cooking, regardless of how bad it was. Someone who was proud of me and the love his son and I have. Someone who was beaming with pride the day I became his son’s wife.

So, God made my father-in-law.

God said, “I need someone to help heal this fatherless woman’s broken heart, someone who is tough enough to wield a machete and gentle enough to understand his new daughter-in-law is mourning the loss of her beloved father. Someone who will treat her like his own daughter and never like an in-law.”

So, God made my father-in-law.

I need someone to notice practical things, like how she needs to get a bigger vehicle after being in a horrific car accident while gently reassuring her that everything will be OK. I need someone who is strong enough to guide her when she is terrified to drive again, yet gentle enough to understand the trauma of her accident is what is holding her back.

So, God made my father-in-law.

God said, “I need someone who listens more than he speaks. Someone who has a smile that lights up the room. Someone who will love his family during the good and the bad times, someone who loves his family unconditionally.”

So, God made my father-in-law.

He knew after losing my father I needed to let go of my anger, heal my heart, and grow tolerance and compassion. He knew I needed to learn how to how make peace, accept others for who they are, and to compromise.

So, God made my father-in-law.

He knew I needed someone who would show me where my husband received his greatness from, someone who would be a mirror image of my husband as we would grow old together.

So, God made my father-in-law.

God would watch our family each Thanksgiving and laugh, He knew our family needed someone to carve the turkey because the son was not very good at it despite all the YouTube videos he would watch each holiday.

So, God made my father-in-law.

A father is the first hero a son or daughter will know. His influence lasts much longer than life.

God created a father to be a living, breathing display of who He is; a leader, a protector, and a provider. While some are not with us for as long as we would like, they live on in our hearts.

This Thanksgiving, we will miss my incredible father-in-law at our dinner table. Thanksgiving will continue to be a time of giving as we carry on his spirit. The image of my father-in-law ‘s infectious smile and his endless jokes will remain in our hearts. Every new tradition we form will have his spirit woven into the foundation. He will live on through the stories we tell our family.

This holiday season, give your father or your father-in-law a call, hug him and appreciate him.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Lisa Ingrassia

Lisa is the Director of Events at Zenith Marketing Group, an insurance brokerage firm located in Freehold, NJ. She is passionate about sharing her father’s journey with cancer and bringing attention the difficult path a caregiver must walk. She has written guest articles for the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, The Mighty & Her View From Home. She is also a guest blogger for The Huffington Post. Fun fact: She’s obsessed with her Boston terrier Diesel and loves the color blue.

She is an Anonymom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother standing at sink holding a baby on her hip

She stands alone in the church kitchen, frantically scrubbing pots and pans while the grieving huddle around the fellowship hall, and she slips out the back door before anyone comes in. She is an anonymom. She gets out of her car and picks up the trash thrown into the ditch alongside the country road. She is an anonymom. She sits on the park bench, watching her children play. In the meantime, she continually scans the whole playground, keeping track of everyone’s littles, because that is what moms do. She is an anonymom. RELATED: Can We Restore “the Village” Our Parents...

Keep Reading

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

Memories are What Matter—Watch the Chevy Holiday Ad Making Us Cry

In: Living
Chevy holiday ad

I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I find that this time of year feels fragile. I love the holidays, don’t get me wrong. But these days I recognize a comingling of joy and sadness that envelopes so many during this season. It’s a giant heap of emotion as we sort through the good, the bad, the happy, and the sad of the past year and try to make sense of where we are right here, right now, in this moment of time. So when I saw Chevrolet’s new seasonal ad last night, I was...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

When You Need a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends having coffee

We have all seen them—the posts about the door always open, the coffee always on, telling us someone is always there when we need support. I have lived with depression my entire life. From being a nervous child with a couple of ticks to a middle-aged woman with recurrent major depressive and generalized Anxiety disorder diagnoses. Antidepressants, therapy, writing, and friends are my treatments. The first three are easy, my doctor prescribes antidepressants, I make appointments with a therapist, and I write when I feel the need. RELATED: Happy People Can Be Depressed, Too The fourth is hard. As I...

Keep Reading

When You Just Don’t Feel Like Christmas

In: Faith, Living
Woman sad looking out a winter window

It’s hard to admit, but some years I have to force myself to decorate for Christmas. Some years the lights look a little dimmer. The garlands feel a bit heavier. And the circumstances of life just aren’t wrapped in a big red bow like I so wish they were. Then comparison creeps in like a fake Facebook friend and I just feel like hiding under the covers and skipping it all. Because I know there’s no way to measure up to the perfect life “out there.” And it all just feels heavier than it used to. Though I feel alone,...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Who Coach: Thank You

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother with young son in soccer uniform, color photo

I always planned on being an involved parent, whatever that would mean. Never an athlete, always athletic, I joined the swim team in high school, taught swim lessons for spending money as a college freshman, played intramural soccer at 10 p.m. on weeknights on a college team with a ridiculous name. Later, mama to only one baby, finding extra dollars wherever I could, I coached track. And then, my own babies really started to play sports. I promised myself I would volunteer as possible, but something always stood in the way, and all I could manage was to get my...

Keep Reading

Now That I’m There, 30 Doesn’t Seem That Old

In: Living
Woman holding a sign with the number 30 and chocolates, color photo

I turned 30 this year. The change of a decade has caused me to reflect a lot. This is the first time I’ve hit an age ending in zero and sort of wish I could go back a ways. At 10 and 20 years old I was still eagerly waiting to get older. That desire slowed down and stopped around 25 years old. Still, I haven’t lived my first 30 years with a lot of regrets. I have four little ones who call me mom. Some days they make me feel old. Often they keep me acting young. Dance parties...

Keep Reading

Teachers Carry the Weight of Their Classroom in Their Hearts

In: Living
Stressed teacher sits with hands on temples

I would like to argue there really isn’t anything that hard about the doing of a teacher’s job. Oh, there are overwhelming, too much to do moments. And exhausting moments. And early morning, long day moments. But there isn’t really anything that hard about the doing of a teacher’s work. It’s the being a teacher that’s hard. For in being a teacher, your heart splits open with all the things you cannot fix and all the things you cannot do or cannot do enough of. When your heart aches for a family you barely know and you long to comfort...

Keep Reading