Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thank You Thursday: Mammaw

When I first started the "Thank You Thursday" series, I said to myself, how in the world are you going to find someone to thank every single day?

And then it dawned upon me. How in the world could I not think of someone to thank every day?

My husband once said, "If, at the end of the day, you have something to be thankful for, then it was a good day." I've lived for almost 24 years now, and to think that I could possibly run out of people to thank is simply preposterous! There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of people who have helped me in one way or another. Teachers, principals, friends, family---even enemies---have all taught us a lesson at one point in time. Right?

With that said, today, I am thanking one of the most thankful people I've ever known.

My Mammaw

Forever, in my eyes, Mammaw will be a saint. She's a mother of six, and a devoted Christian woman with a heart of gold. And while she may be old-fashioned, she's still open-minded and receptive to others. She knows no strangers. She is a friend to all.

I remember the smell of her house, the taste of her food, the pyramid-shaped rocks in her garden, her innocent laugh, her floral skirts and dresses, her pretty blue eyes---the list goes on.

When I was around 6 or 7, she used to pick my sisters and me up from school and take us to Wendy's for a Frosty. Sometimes we'd go grocery shopping with her at Meijer. We'd beg her to ride in the hatchback of her old blue station wagon, and she usually gave in. When we got back to her house, we'd watch "Rugrats" before Pappaw's lottery numbers came on. When TV time was up, we'd read "Where The Sidewalk Ends" or play with the "little people" that she kept in her storage area along the side patio.

While Mammaw was sweet, caring, and gentle, she was also very stern. Once, my older sister was bugging the crap out of me (as usual) and I called her a brat in front of Mammaw.

* Record Scratch *

Big. Mistake. Mammaw took those Lincoln Logs away from me and with a firm voice that I'd never heard coming from her sweet little self, she said, "Do you want me to wash your mouth out with soap?" You better believe that I never crossed Mammaw again. In fact, I think that on that day, I learned how to respect my elders.

If only I'd known what the time spent with her would mean to me today.

I'm lucky that she got to meet my son when he was first born. She even sewed him a quilt that I cherish to this day. You see, dementia struck a couple of years ago, and with it, it has taken away the most beautiful woman that I've ever known. Her bright blue eyes are now filled with confusion. Her strong hands that once hand-stitched blankets, quilts, and clothing are now bound by arthritis. That twinkle when she looks at me is no longer there, because she can no longer recognize my face. She has good days and bad days and it's hard on everyone. But I refuse to remember her this way.

She'll always be my Mammaw, the strongest, most incredible woman to ever grace the world with her presence.

I love you, Mammaw. Thank you for being there for me.

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  1. Wonderful post. Made me cry. My Granny passed away a few years ago. She was in the final stages of Alzheimers as well. When she died she was just a shell really. She was in a nursing home because none of us were skilled enough to take care of her. She had to be fed by tubes and it was so sad to see what she had become. I will always remember that vibrant woman who touched my heart and my mind so many times over the years. Her blue eyes sparkled & her hair was as white as snow. One of my fondest memories is of her biscuits and tea. This was a chore done every day by her. She had this huge white bowl that she made the biscuits in a whittled down tree branch that Grandpa had whittled just for her to use to stir tea. I have no idea what kind of tree it came from but she used it religiously every day. You have brought me fond memories today. Thank you very much!

    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Michele.

      Holding onto your fondest memories keeps your loved ones here in spirit.

      Your comment made me tear up. Many people consider Alzheimers to be a slow process, when in reality, it can immediately send a once vibrant, strong-minded person into a state of infant-like confusion. While they're still here in the flesh, they're not the person you once knew.

      I'm happy that I could help you relive some of your fonder memories of your granny.

      Thank you for the follow.


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