Saturday, January 5, 2013

A letter to Meemaw

Dear Meemaw,

I was so saddened and shocked to hear that you had passed away.  I didn't want it to be true.  I just saw you, and you were so happy and doing so well.  I guess it was just your time.

My heart is filled with sadness at this loss, but at the same time I am thankful you didn't suffer.  You always said that when it was your time you hoped you just went in your sleep. This was one of the many things you said many times throughout my life about death.  I never liked for you to talk about it, but you always brought it up at random times! Now that time has come, and I just can't believe it. 

I'm sad because I will miss you.  I wrote you a letter to mail you each week, I don't know how many years I did this.  I enjoyed doing it, and now I will miss that so very much.   I have others I write, but it's just not the same as writing to you.  I know it meant something to you, and you always appreciated it.  I thought I would write you here. It was just too painful to not write anything as I wrote my other two letters this week. 

There are so many memories of you that I have that I don't want to forget.  As a child I remember the excitement and anticipation of getting to make the 6+ hour trip to your house when you lived in East Texas.  I loved going to see you and always had fun there.  I remember playing with  my cousin Tim at your house, chasing him down one time when I thought he was going to eat something poisonous off of a tree.  I remember how you'd cut our toast to look like butterflies.  I remember how you had a stuffed bird in a bird cage that used to sing.  I remember how you'd give me a metal ornament at Christmas with my name and date engraved on it each year.     

You always told stories about me as a little girl and continued to repeat them all through my life.  Like how I used to sit on your lap in the car (back in the days before car seats and seat belts), and I'd want to get a "ham bur bur" and "dr. peppy" for lunch. One of your favorite songs was "I'll Fly Away."  It was 255 in our song book at church, and I'd ask if they could sing 'two thifty thive' for Meemaw.

It makes me laugh to think how for so many years you liked banana splits without bananas because your brothers (I think) told you those little black things in them were bugs.  Finally you did start eating bananas at the age of 70. 

There was a song I heard as a little girl and I'd sing it to you.  I thought it said "all night, all day angels watching over Meemaw, Lord."  I still think of those words when that song comes to mind.

When I was older you moved back closer to our town.  I remember you making corn casserole and chicken and dressing for us.  You always loved to have company and were always so thrilled to see us at your door.  It never mattered how long we stayed, you'd always tell us not to rush off. 

I remember your pets and how you always grew so attached to them.  Your cat "Mildu" you buried in an afghan when she died.  And of course there was Kinzee.  You always gave her treats when you ate.  You grieved her loss and missed her so much after she died.

You were a saved empty toilet paper rolls to use to make crocheted candles at Christmas. You saved empty pie pans and Pringles cups because you thought surely someone could use them for something.   

You loved my husband, and I loved how you teased and joked with each other.  You were always telling me how you were so glad he had such a good job.  When he got his promotion, I printed the newsletter article about it and sent it to you.  You got a frame for it and hung it on your wall.

I am so glad Caleb got to know and love you.  He and Gramma always went to your house with a wagon load of flowers around your birthday/Mother's Day.  You'd sit on the chair on your porch and watch them plant the flowers for you.  You always commented how he was such a good worker--he was always doing some job when he came to your house.  He liked to climb on your green ladder chair.  When he was little he liked to throw leaves into your birdbath and thought it was the funniest thing.  And he always liked the treats you would give him as we sat on  your porch!  You always had ice cream bars or animal crackers and a glass of lemonade to offer us.

Looking at our picture we took at Christmas, how was I to know that it would be our last photo together?  There are so many things I will miss about you or doing with how you used to push my hair back off my shoulders before you'd give me a hug and kiss.... or the way you'd always have something for us that you bought from the Schwann's man.... or the way you'd talk and talk on the phone not wanting to hang up..... or how we'd go to eat Chinese food when we came to town.... or your funny sayings that you always said.  So many things I see will always remind me of you like holiday window clings and peanut butter and Cadbury eggs and chocolate covered cherries. 

I will always miss you Meemaw. Thank you for loving me, for being proud of me, for caring about me and my life and the things I was doing, for being my Meemaw.  I love you. xoxo

Your girl Bethany


Pamela said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

sister sheri said...

Sorry about your Meemaw. She sounds like a wonderful woman. Prayers for comfort!

Mocha with Linda said...

Precious, precious tribute. Hugs to you as you grieve your sweet Meemaw.