Monday, April 23, 2012

I Want You to Have my Mink Stole

image courtesy photobucket.

The details were not clear to me, but the story my mother-in-law told was that she had won a beautiful mink stole in a “Raffle.”

I remember how proudly she wore it to church and it was truly a remarkable addition to her wardrobe.

image courtesy photobucket
One day as I visited her, I remarked about her face. “What happened to you?” as I noticed the big bruises under her eyes and cheeks. Her simple explanation was “I fell.”

Thinking back to other times when she “fell,” and there were broken ribs and one time a broken arm caused me alarm. Not being satisfied with her answer I kept after her until she admitted that her older teen age son, had smacked her good one.

Apparently she had tried to stop him from going through her purse looking for money and he got very angry.

In her way of thinking she believed the lie, that she was at fault, and deserved this type of treatment.

You and I know the truth. No one deserves abuse.

Thinking to myself, I know that boys want to be just like their dad, and when they continually view their dad hit their mother, it seems easy for them to do likewise.

Things were getting worse in the home with the men and boys drinking on the week ends. There were times that her husband instead of hitting her would use other insulting methods.

One new approach was for her husband to take his knife and rip up her good dresses that she wore to church. My mother-in-law treasured nice clothes, and for them to be cut into small pieces was a cruel and malicious abuse of another kind.

As I visited her on that day she went into her closet and returned with her precious mink stole. “Here,” she said, “I want you to have my mink stole, because I know you will take care of it.”

Reading between the lines, I knew exactly what she was thinking, so I accepted her gift and took it home.  Even today it still hangs in my closet protected.

A short time later she came to live with us bringing with her the youngest son.  As time went by, her husband received some counseling from our pastor, and they decided to get back together and return to Tennessee, hoping for a new life.

In a way I was glad, but as they prepared to leave California, I told her, “I am not letting you take 12 year old Douglas; he is staying with me, because it will be best for him.” There was no arguing with me because she knew it was true.

I wish I could tell you that all was honey and roses after that, but the change did some good for her and the family.

A year later they returned to California, but I told her again, Douglas is staying with us, and he did for a total of five years. When he was seventeen he decided to move back home with his parents. He loved his mother and was a blessing to her in her final years.

This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
Also shared at Hazel’s new Blog party Tell me a True Story at:


  1. Oh man. This story and Nancy's story are heartbreaking. This truly is a fallen world. That kind of abuse makes my blood boil, I'm not sure my reaction would have been as Godly...

  2. Hi Mom, I remeber Grandma Bea's stole you wrote about....and David hurt me several times while I tried to protect Grandma. God is good and now both Grandma's are dancing in heaven, praise God.

    Love, your daughter, Judie

  3. "It's hard to know what to say after reading this...what comes to me is I'm sorry, so very sorry. But also, thank you Heavenly Father for the One we can truly count on. "
    Vicki K

  4. Oh what a story. You have a loving heart to care so much and help when able. Your mother-in-laws stole is very lovely.

    Kindly, Lorraine

  5. Hazel, such a touching story. Joan Evans

  6. So much to think about here, Hazel. But what jumps out at me is your take-charge attitude and steadfastness. I'm so glad you were there for your MIL, but especially Douglas. This must have been painful to go through, but I'm glad they agreed to counseling.

  7. Hazel, what a blessing that you were able to take Douglas and to help your mother-in-law.
    I'm very sorry about all of this. I admire your strength and fortitude.

  8. It is amazing how God uses articles of clothing to teach us lessons in Him. I have a fox fur that taught me the best lesson about lust I have ever had.

  9. Hazel, what a story! And how special you are to have kept her mink stole safe and protected. That shows us much about you!

    I used to be a Christian Domestic Violence Hotline Counselor. I know how hard it is for women to break away from abuse. I praise God you gave her a safe-haven.

    God bless you!

  10. I have my grandmother's mink stole - but there's a very different story there. I love your heart and your strength Hazel. I want to be like that!

  11. As you can guess, much of my upbringing was exactly what you were describing. Mom and Dad's fights were awful and I was nearly always right in the middle since I was the oldest of the kids. And the strange stuff would happen, too: They'd be battling at night -- drunk -- and be loving each other the next day while mom had black eyes or twisted arms [which I sometimes had for "interfering"] and Dad would even have bruises, etc. That was so crazy. The fact that they both came to the Lord... separate times, separate places ... and are now friends in Heaven makes me grin from ear to ear.

    The insanity was part of my life for so long... and the Lord intervened. I'm a heart-filled "Hallelujah" person.

    Sorry this is so long, Hazel, but you got me soaring and had to share. [BTW, these recent posts are obviously headed in a very good and intense direction. Thanks.]


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