Today I received the call from my father that my grandmother (Mamaw) had passed away. Dad let me know that they would be in touch and keep me posted as to what was going to happen next. We said our good byes and the call was over in just over a minute. It took a minute to sink in, but after reaching the top of the stairs I crawled into bed and cried.
I realized that part of my past was forever gone, on this Earth. I remembered the times of going over to my grandparents’ home and running down stairs to play pool, ping pong, or find some floor game to pull out. Some of the best memories are of the holidays. The Christmas tree would be in the living room, with candy canes hanging all over it. There would be a football game on in the family room and everyone would be busy talking and laughing. At the dinner table I would end up by my Mamaw most of the time and we would tease each other through the whole meal. I miss those laughs.
My Mamaw was always one to sit down at the breakfast table and find out what was going on in your life. There were always snacks, sandwiches, or a not so secret drawer with cookies in it. My two brothers and I loved running to that drawer to find out what kind of cookies were in there this time.
Mamaw had her own little spot in the basement where she could work on her genealogy. It was there that I found out that I was related to George Washington. And like every grandparents’ home, it had an unforgettable smell that instantly reminded you of memories past. Many times my grandparents would come back from a vacation overseas and bring a gift for everyone in the family. Looking back, it was the idea that the gift came from outside the country that made it so cool.
As I got older I came to understand responsibility when sometimes I would go over to their house to help rake the yard or clean leaves out of the gutter. My grandfather helped me buy my first car (a blue ’87 Ford Mustang). I also got to witness love at it’s best when my Papaw was there at every turn of Alzheimer’s my Mamaw experienced. There were days that I could see the old Mamaw come to life, but as time went on she would slowly fade from reality into a state of confusion and eventually silence. Today, she escaped that silence and is living in the most vibrant and beautiful place ever. She is waiting for all of her family to meet her there and pick up where we left off. I am looking forward to that reunion, and hoping to have those same memories with my wife and children.
To my Mamaw, a most wonderful woman!