Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear Mema

I can remember the first time I met you, Mema (pronounced mee-maw).  It was in February of 2007, and you were celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary to Granddaddy.  You weren't too sure of me, and understandably so, seeing as your grandson had told you just three weeks prior that he'd become engaged to a young woman at church who happened to be me.  We hadn't dated, and I'm sure your had your thoughts and opinions on that.  However, in our first meeting, I could tell you were an incredible woman.

As years passed, you proved my first thoughts on you to be true.  Whenever we visited home, you made sure to have breakfast on the table, clean sheets on the beds, and fresh linens ready for use.  You didn't talk much, but when you did, your opinion was blunt, honest, and sometimes, a little uncanny.  I learned that you liked things the way they are, didn't need anything new, and preferred your old bathrobe to any fancy, new one that we could purchase for you.  You liked pictures around your house, coffee in the pot, and your television always on.  You kept the house warm (almost blazing at times) and the stove full.  You said, "Hello," louder than I'd ever heard anyone over the phone, and you loved to talk about the rain, your crops, and whether or not we would be home soon.

Over time, I grew on you.  You became more excited to see us come, especially when we first learned we were pregnant just months after Granddaddy passed away.  You were anticipating that baby as much as we were, and when we lost it, I believe you hurt some too.  When I became pregnant again, you were ready, both in word and deed.  Your comments about my weight gain were hurtful and hilarious.  I could have lost a pound, and you would say I had gained ten.  You made me laugh by cooking my favorite foods, after learning that, although a country girl, I had no taste for beans, greens, or cornbread.  I could expect a full pot of mashed potatoes, a blue bowl full of green beans, and a dish full of sweet potatoes, fixed better than anyone could ever fix them.  You loved me in ways I didn't realize then.  When Daniel was finally born, I can remember you coming to visit just three weeks after he was born.  I was pretty "hefty" as you said, but you were smitten over Daniel.  I watched as you beamed with joy leaning over his baby swing.

You are a grandmother in every sense of the word.  You love your grandbabies and great-grandbabies with all you have in you.  You provide for them in every way you can.  You fix them their favorite waffles with tons of butter and syrup then make chocolate milk and keep it coming all day long.  You always have animal crackers and Cheerios for the little ones, and your closet is full of old toys to keep them entertained, although they are the same toys that have been there since I joined the family.  The old John Deere four-wheeler toy you have is a favorite of the boys (where is it as of lately?!), and you laugh so hard watching Daniel, Samuel, and Elias attempt to ride it around the house.  You love them, and they love you.

Mema, I realize that it's almost time for you to go home yourself.  You've proven yourself determined and strong over the past three weeks.  You suffered a stroke, were paralyzed on your left side, and were not swallowing, and yet, a week later, you decided you didn't want a feeding tube by ripping it out and then showed you were strong enough to go home by beginning to eat and respond.  You've been at home for a week and have done really well, so well in fact, that the boys and I came to visit you!  Daniel and Samuel had made you cards, and you thanked them for them!  The boys couldn't understand why you weren't able to get up, and Mema, I wish we knew for sure.

However, I know that God is getting ready to call you home.  I don't want you to go, but I don't want you to stay.  I hope you see Granddaddy, Thomas (your son), and Cindy (your daughter-in-law).  I want you to see the babies that we never got to meet here on Earth.  I want you to walk again.  I want you to smile and talk again.  I want you to be the wonderful woman I met 6 years ago on your 50th anniversary.  I want you to get to be YOU again, but in Heaven, you'll be an even better you, and I couldn't ask for anything more!

The memories I hold in my heart of you are precious, but knowing you'll soon be seeing Jesus makes me so excited I can hardly stand it.  Please, please, don't worry about us.  We'll be okay; you've raised your family in such a way that there's no way they wouldn't be.  They are strong, determined, and grounded in Christ.  Go home to Him.  Until we meet again...

Mema and Granddaddy on their 50th Anniversary
February 2007

Mema, Brian, and I at our wedding shower
March 2007

Our Wedding and Both Sides of the Families
March 31, 2007 

Holding Daniel for the first time
May 2009

Sweet Mema
May 2009

Meeting Elias
May 2012

Mema with all 7 of her great-grandchildren
July 2012

Brian and his Mema at his Master's Degree Ceremony
December 2012

Daniel loves his Mema!
Visiting May 2013

Brian, Samuel, and Mema
May 2013

1 comment:

Linda Wall said...

I hope this isn't my 3rd time to post. I am technically challenged:) May God Bless all of you during this time. Melba has always been a kind lady and you can see her love for others beam through her eyes. Love her and all of you!