Thursday, March 29, 2012

Goodbye, for now.

Approximately one year ago I said goodbye to the kindest, warmest and gentlest woman I've ever known, my Maw-Maw Boo. One year later and it still feels surreal to think that she is no longer physically with us. I say physically, because I know she is still with me, in my heart. I carry her everyday. I have so many fond memories of time spent with her that it is difficult to place my finger on a particular favorite. My parents divorced when I was very young and when my dad worked and we were not in school, we were at Maw-Maws.

I went to school on her side of the river but lived on the other. In order to help my dad, she would pick me up from school and sometimes, cross the Huey P to bring me home. I will forever cherish those car rides. She would always have a snack ready for me and we would listen to country music. One day, I mentioned that I liked Jimmy Buffett. Shortly thereafter she bought the cassette: Jimmy Buffett- Songs you know my heart. Now, my Maw-Maw was a church going woman and I never heard her say and unkind word, let alone a swear word. She was old fashioned and there were certain topics that just were not discussed. If you are familiar with Jimmy Buffett, you can imagine her horror when the song "Why dont we get drunk" came on while her 8 year old granddaughter was in the car. I'm sure I giggled and from then on, we fast forwarded that song every time. To this day, I think of her every time I hear that song. Weird huh?!

There are so many of her sayings that I recall. One that is vivid happened when we were very young, if we would pick our nose, she would say "habit, habit." I guess she was attempting to thwart this bad "habit." Kind of gross, but it still cracks me up to this day. If we were doing something gross, she would say "couchon" which translates to pig in French. After she would bathe the dog and brush him, he would go crazy running through the house. She would say "charge, Pepper charge" and we would join in, hysterically laughing all along. There was so much laughter in that house.

Some of my fondest memories are of her singing to us. Her particular favorites were Babyface and You are my Sunshine . It took me a long time to be able to sing them to my son. She died when I was pregnant and I am still heartbroken that she never got to hold himand he never got to know her personally. Now, I can get through the songs but all the while I am thinking of her. She also used to sing "Mammy's little baby loves shortin' bread" and I'm pretty sure when she sang it to me she changed Mammy to Mandy. That was what she called me.

She used to do so many thoughtful things for us. For example, I was a terribly picky eater as a child and she would, in an effort to make my food fun, cut my sandwiches in the shape of a star. I loved those star sandwiches. It was as if when they took the shape of a star, they magically transformed into something delicious! She was such a good cook and I can remember sitting in the barstools (which by the way, hurt like hell if you stubbed your toe on, which I frequently did), eating Aunt Shirley's biscuits or Egg in a basket for breakfast, my star sandwich for lunch, and orange sherbet for an afternoon snack. I was nothing if not a creature of habit and I ate the same thing, day in and day out.

God, I miss her. I talk to her alot in prayer but it is not the same. Her smile could light up a room. I remember at her funeral not wanting to leave her casket out of fear that I would forget her face. Well, I worried over nothing, because when I close my eyes, I can see her face clear as day and I can hear her voice as well.

She smiled not only with her mouth but also with her eyes.
I guess you could say that her whole face smiled.

 I can even hear her and my Paw-Paw going back and forth at each other as they did. They were an amazing couple. So in love. They had something so special and it was obvious to all of us who knew them.

I could go on for days with all of my special memories. The truth is that she was such an integral part of my life that my entire childhood is filled with interractions with her. She was tough when she needed to be and the sassy pants that I was, got punished frequently. But she was also so generous with her love and kindness. I miss you every day Maw-Maw and I will keep our special memories in my heart where I can share them with my children.They may not know you personally but they will know how amazing you were and how much I loved you. I know you are watching over us, it is your nature to be a caregiver. I hope you are having fun up in heaven, with your parents and brothers and sisters. Until we meet again, please watch over my baby boy. I tell him that you are his guardian angel. What an incredible angel to have.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mandy, this post has me crying like a baby in my office. You described our time at MawMaw's perfectly. I miss her so much and hate that she never got to meet our boys. At least we got to tell her about our pregnancies. Love you!