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.
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.