Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Remembering Mawmaw

We are home from South Carolina, and even though there were hard moments, it was very nice to be together as a family as we celebrated the life of an amazing woman.  We laughed and we cried, and it felt exactly like it should. I wanted to take a moment to share with you the words Candice said during the service.  I think her and Matt both did an amazing job talking about our sweet and fiery Mawmaw and the impact she had on all of our lives.
Mawmaw with Baby Henry

 "There are thousands of memories I'd like to share but it is difficult to narrow everything down. 

Since the age of 16, I've been driving to Mawmaw's house, the place were I regained a sense of who I am and what matters most. Spring breaks and long weekends were NOT made for fancy vacations, they were filled with cards, Yahtzee, tellin' tales, delicious salmon patties and chocolate cake. Feel free to exchange salmon patties with lasagna, broccoli and cheese, pecan pies, fried apple pies, cinnamon rolls, delicious pie crust sprinkled with sugar, roast, all the things so good they'd "make you fight your granny".  Any of the favorites Mawmaw would provide to make each of us feel special. 

 It was during these visits and the years before that I fell in love with Mawmaw's independence and straightforward personality. Although at times it was difficult to swallow, these characteristics changed who I am, who we all have become. If you can't "tell it like it is" or hear it for that matter, you'd adjust quickly. Hearing stories about her life on the army base or in West-by God-Virginia, were the highlight of the trip. Even though we had heard them a million times, every now and then she'd share an extra piece we'd never heard before. It was like a hidden treasure had been uncovered. Yes, she should have written that book(s). The art of telling a good story became the legacy to our family. 

There is a rare honesty and vulnerability that exists around that kitchen table that is unmatched. A place where stories were shared, babies were raised, victorious games were won, and love was felt. A place where a cup of tea, hot or cold, could heal any alignment-either of body or spirit. This place where we learned to never take crap from anyone and stand on our own two feet because no one will do it for you. Where we made Christmas cookies, learned to play cards, and shared the newest gossip around the neighborhood. Most importantly where she taught us critical life lessons. For example, when she taught our cousin Catee how to sew, she told her (just like in life) "no matter how hard you work, sometimes you have to rip out the seam and start all over again. " 

This special lady and these moments developed who I am today. I'm thankful for the visits, the continuous love and support, and the special relationship we have. You will always be my rock. Yours was a life well lived. Give yourself a big old hug from me. "
Before we left we took a quick picture standing in front of Mawmaw's house.  So much love was felt within these walls.  What a lasting legacy she has left in her children and grandchildren she loved so much.  I feel blessed to have loved her and to have been loved by her.


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