My Mamaw

My Mamaw passed away this morning. My heart hurts because I’m selfish and I wanted more time with her. I wanted her to meet Graham, to spend more time with the girls, to hear her say one more time how much she thought Josh was the perfect man for me, to do one more crossword puzzle with her, to just have more of her. I’m thankful that her passing was quick and painless and that she lived the most amazing life. I know everyone says that they have the world’s best grandparents, but I give you fifty reasons (when really, I could list five thousand) why my Mamaw was the best grandmother.

* Her Coty airbrushed face powder.
* She said “rouge” instead of “blush.”
* She got her round barreled with those little bristles curling iron stuck in my hair at least once a summer, always necessitating being cut out with the scissors. Yet somehow, I kept letting her curl my hair and she kept trying.
* Her “junk” jewelry drawer that I always had full access to play with.
* Her large collection of canvas needlepoint covered bricks that doubled as door stoppers.
* She always referenced her trips to “the Orient.”
* The fact that her hairstyle hasn’t changed in the 35 years of pictures I have of the two of us together.
* Her love of polyester pants and knit shirts.
* She melted peanut butter on the stove top to pour over ice cream.
* Then she made my brother and I eat the aforementioned ice cream with newspaper spread on the carpet to prevent spills as we watched Mr. Ed on Nick at Nite during the summer.

* She would annoy my grandfather and get him so riled up and then say, “Aw Bud, you know I’m just kidding you.”
* She had the most forgiving heart. I have never, ever, ever met someone so willing to forgive and honestly forget.
* She always saw the good and positive of people and just wouldn’t believe the bad in them. She’d say to me “Now Kati, there’s no way they could do that.”
* She walked around all the time with a dishcloth over her shoulder so she could be ready to clean at a moment’s notice.
* The fact that her toaster had a toaster cozy that she kept on it, all the time, probably even until after the year 2000.
* She single handedly started a program at her church collecting and dressing dolls to give as Christmas presents to the children in the migrant camps around her home. It isn’t an exaggeration to say she gave thousands of children a Christmas that they would have never had.
* She used to pay me $5 to keep my dresser drawers neat.
* She only ever expected the best from people because that’s all she ever gave anyone else, her best.
* She was a very thrifty woman but always bought boneless, skinless chicken breast, despite the fact they were the more expensive option.
* I don’t think she ever forgave me for not pursuing golf. She always thought I could have been a pro.

* Every summer she’d treat my brother and I to lunch at “the club” after a day of swimming.
* She took me to get my annual back to school perm every year for about five years I think.
* She convinced my grandfather to buy me a pair of $58 Guess jeans. My first name brand jeans. He about had a stroke but she said, “Bud, all the other girls have them. She’ll wear them all year, just get them for her and hush.”
* Her love of crossword puzzles.
* Her love of Wheel of Fortune.
* The fact that I can’t decide which she loved more, Wheel of Fortune or crossword puzzles.
* Her life stories. She had such a rough early life it’s almost unfathomable but when I asked her how she could have lived that way, she’d tell me, “But Kati, so many people had it worse than us.”
* Her love of Morrison’s cafeteria.
* She never minded when I crawled into bed with her.
* She’d reach over and hold my grandfather’s hand when they were driving.

* She kept a throw pillow in the back seat of her car.
* Along with a box of Kleenex with a canvas needlepoint cover.
* She made me a doll that my girls now play with.
* She was always sneaking sweet treats to us.
* She made my Papaw save his change all year long to give us pocket money for our annual trip to Disney.
* She loved Josh more than me, I’m pretty sure.
* She pretended not to see when Papaw made me afternoon coffee when I was only twelve.
* She never let my dad forget he almost killed me (in her words) because I had the chicken pox and he took me to a chiropractor instead of a real doctor and she sat up with my all night, keeping watch over me until my fever broke.
* She never let my brother forget he sat there and watched me cut my hair and didn’t tell her until I was done. Which I’m pretty sure started the annual back to school perm tradition.
* She loved Jesus with her whole heart

* She’d always type her cards and letters to me, just signing her name. She could out-type just about anyone I believe.
* She was so utterly practical and down to earth. Yet she up and married my grandfather despite only knowing him for a month.
* She’d always send me five dollars in every card she sent.
* She didn’t get mad at me the one time I broke a vase not five seconds after she told me to stop hitting my brother with a pillow. Yes, I broke the vase with that same pillow.
* She wasn’t materialistic or trendy or any of those things but she still always wanted things to look nice.
* She would always sing this song about an old rocking chair – “Sitting alone in an old rocking chair
/ I saw an old mother with silvery hair / She seemed so neglected by those who should care / Rocking alone in an old rocking chair” when you came to visit which always made you feel like dirt for not visiting more often.
* She couldn’t hold a tune in a bucket but she never let that stop her from singing in the choir.
* She was, simply put, the best grandmother
* I love her so much.
* I miss her so much.

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One Response to My Mamaw

  1. jclady says:

    Aw, Kati — I am so sorry for your loss!

    At the same time, I’m so happy that you had such a wonderful person in your life. You will keep your Mamaw in you heart forever and I know you will share your stories of her with your children so they will know her always.


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