A tribute to Kathi Joan Shull

I remember the first time Sam brought me home to meet his family.  I was very nervous to meet his mom and hoped she would like me.  With great relief from the first moment I met Kathi she was so welcoming and accepting and as I got to know her it was so easy to feel her love and love her back. As we spent more time together over the years our relationship grew into something  more than I ever expected, something that I grew to cherish so much. We planned a wedding together. We had coffee dates and almost daily phone calls in which we talked about everything, we talked about God and marriage, about life. We left no subject unturned. We planned family trips together, picked out home decor and just had so much fun together.  Her love for me quickly earned her the title of “ The Best Mother In Law EVER.” But the truth is I never really felt like a daughter in law . She made me forget that I was one, she truly accepted me, loved me and made me feel like I was one of hers, like a daughter.

Kathi was such a great mom and I admired her dedication to Sam and Liz. Her attentiveness was admirable and something I felt was highly respectable.  Being married to Sam, naturally I learned a lot more about their relationship with one another.  Their bond was so special and so rare. One that I loved watching. It showed me how special and great relationships could be.  It helped me grow as a person and gave me the desire to invest in having better relationships with all the people in my own  life.  I desperately hope for a relationship like theirs with my own children.


Kathi’s outlook on life was very inspiring to me. Even with cancer she was always joyful, and looking forward to the next things life would bring. She always attributed her attitudes in life as something to thank Jesus for.  She was a person of grace, hope, joy, one to look up to,  one of a dedicated wife, mother and friend. A person who by being around made me better and made me want to be better. One who makes you realize everyone needs a Kathi in their life.


These last few weeks I started thinking about all the things I experienced and admired about Kathi. I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming feeling of how special and lucky I am  to have had her as a mother in law. How privileged I am to have had a relationship with her that was so easy and full of love.  I know she is in a better place now, but I’m going to miss our chats. I’m going to miss  how she made me feel like I could tell her anything and not be judged.  I’m gonna miss being able to learn from her about being a wife, a mom and a better person.  I’m going to miss having her to ask for advice and her support of me. I’m going to miss the feeling of  warmth from watching how patient, gentle and loving she was when she interacted with her grandchildren. I’m gonna miss her hugs and the love I felt from her. And while I will never forget that she truly was the BEST MOTHER IN LAW A GIRL could ask for.  I’m look forward to the day I am in heaven so that we will be able to pick up where we left off.


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