Tuesday, October 23, 2012

my mawmaw

Lord knows I've tried to write this post more than a few times.
Forgive me if it's jumbled.
My last post was October 17
saying that my grandmother was in her last days.
I had no idea my phone would ring an hour later
with my oldest sister saying she was on her way to get me
and we were heading to the nursing home where my grandmother was.
About 10 minutes from our destination,
we got the call.
You know -- the one no one wants to get.
"Slow down," my daddy wanted us to know.
"She's no longer with us."
I NEVER thought those words would hit me as hard as they did.
I'm gonna be REAL here.
I didn't have the relationship with my grandmother that my other cousins did.
Ya'll may not know it, but I didn't meet her until I was 17 years old.
I'll never forget that day.
I arrived at her house, with all of my paternal family there (that I had never met)
and when I got out of the truck,
this tiny, 4'10, no-more-than-100-pounds-dripping-wet
woman rushed at me, grabbed me tight, with tears running down her face,
and said one of the most blessed things I've ever heard.
"You look just like a Maynard. You look just like your daddy! Oh, I am so happy to meet you!"
She, along with the rest of them, have never treated me any differently.
But because of that delayed meeting, and me getting married 3 years later & moving off,
I felt like I just wasn't as close to her as others were.
When I found out she was fading fast, I told my mom that I was okay and that
I really just wanted to be there for my sisters & daddy.
But that night, after I hung up the phone, I laid back in the seat and bawled my eyes out.
So many wasted years.
So many missed chances of memories.
For a long time, I didn't see my paternal family.
I was stupid, and young.
But yet they still treated me like I'd been there all along.
The family was given some time to stay with her before the funeral home took her body.
My aunts kissed her, we grieved, then my Aunt Pam tucked her in one last time.
The funeral was this past Saturday.
So hard.
There's just no words to explain that feeling.
We sat through the service,
some choking back tears, others breaking down in shattered pieces.
Rev. Jay Woodall put it simply:
Our hearts were busted slam open.
We crossed the road to the graveside, prayed one last time,
and us granddaughters laid our roses on her casket.
The sound of tears and heartache gave way to light chatter
as people gave their condolences.
"She's in a better place."
"she's with Pawpaw now."
"No more sufering."
"She has a new body."
"She's where we want to be."
But can I be selfish for a moment?

I want her back. I want her to teach me her favorite recipes.
I want her to share stories of her life as a new wife & mother to six.
I want her to get down in the floor to play with my girls like she did my little cousins.
I want to go back to that day when I bought Sara to meet her for the first time.
Mawmaw LOVED babies. Even the day before she passed she just stared at my girls
like she was in Heaven on Earth.
But most of ALL, I want to go back to that first meeting and say --
"Mawmaw, I love you too. I'm so happy today to meet you."
Don't EVER let a single, precious moment of life slip by you.
You don't ever know when it's going to be changed or taken from you.
I was blessed to have two wonderful grandmothers who taught me a LOT.
All of my grandparents are gone now, and I am so sad.
I will FOREVER be grateful for that wonderful visit we had on October 16,
knowing it might be our last but not really expecting it that soon.
She tried to say she loved us, she reached up and grabbed my sisters shirt,
she held our hands, she tried to smile, she watched the girls like they were just precious,
and little Juenbug gave her a kiss that I swear made her day.
This is the last picture we have, it's when she reached up to gab my oldest sister
Elizabeth's shirt -- something she hadn't been able to do & we never expected.

This is not how I want to remember her, but I'm thankful for this picture.
Please keep our family in your prayers, we'll appreciate it.

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