Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Beautiful Treasures

I went to a funeral today.

My good friend and college roommate, Karen, lost her grandmother.  Karen's "Mamaw" had lived a long and happy life of 90 years and, even though she'd lived well past the time that most people are allotted and even though everyone knew that she was with Jesus, there were still tears.  I recognized those tears.  They were the tears that come from losing a treasure. There's just something about saying goodbye to your grandmother.  Something that will bring even the toughest and burliest to weep. 

I remember when Karen and I were younger, we'd drop by her Mamaw's house and visit.  She lived in the typical southern grandma house.  I guess I liked it there because it felt a lot like my own grandmothers' houses.  Grandmothers, these days, seem to be a little slower to age and a bit more up to date with their texting and Facebook accounts.  But, if you're around my age or older and from the South, well, our grandmothers were of a different sort and, typically, most were cut from the same pattern....with a few variations here and there.

Grandmother, Granny, Grandma, MeMaw, MaMaw, Nana, MiMi, Gran, Mammie, GanGan, Grammy, Nanny, MawMaw, and a thousand other names.  Whatever you called them, they likely lived in a simple brick home or wood frame house.  There was a screen door that slammed shut when you ran outside.  The floors likely creaked and the house had a comforting smell......kind of like pound cake, bacon, aged wood, fireplace ashes, and moth balls all rolled into one.  There was probably some linoleum on the kitchen floor and a dish towel with a crochet top buttoned around the oven door handle.  I'd be willing to bet there was a giant console television set in the living room with a pair of matching corduroy recliners somewhere in there, too.  There was likely some needlepoint on the walls, a hallway full of wedding and graduation portraits, beautiful china displayed in the china cabinet, and a fresh, crisp tablecloth spread over the table each day.  A cake dome always housed a cake of some kind.  The heaters may have been on the walls and the air conditioners in the windows.  There was probably a porch on the front or back of the house where there was a swing or some rockers.  Either way, it was the place to sit and shell peas or just to visit and wave at the cars that passed by.  There were big trees in the yard that were perfect for climbing and an old clothesline with shirts flapping in the wind.  There was most likely a garden patch somewhere on the property or, at least, some tomato plants necessary for summer sandwiches with Sunbeam bread and Blue Plate mayonnaise, of course.  There may have been some cows or chickens......maybe a barn......a lot of stuff you didn't have at your own house.  Parked under the carport was probably a grandmother-ish car with vinyl seats ......not near as sleek and sophisticated and today's SUV grandmothers.  It was a place that was usually a step or two behind your own house when it came to technology and whatnot but, somehow, it was still your favorite place on earth to be.        

Old southern grandmas wore a lot of elastic waist polyester pants with starched coordinating floral tops and usually footwear was from the SAS collection.  Pantyhose were worn daily except on the days when knees highs could serve as a suitable substitute.  When you hugged them, they smelled of Chantilly perfume or White Shoulders dusting powder mixed with Aqua Net.  They had their standing hair appointments on Fridays to get them ready for church on Sunday.  They always got up early enough to make biscuits for breakfast and put a roast in the oven before heading out to Sunday school.  Grandmothers always had Wrigley's chewing gum and lots of change in their purses.  They had a big King James Bible- large print edition, a basket of brush rollers with picks, and a wallet full of school pictures.  Our grandmas never missed prayer meeting or a chance to make pear salad.  They liked talking about their azalea bushes and clipping camellia blooms to bring inside.  They always met us at the door with a hug, enjoyed cooking for their families and, most of all, they faithfully prayed for us.  Every day.
                
I think that was the dearest thing that stuck with me from today.......when Karen's dad told how, each night, after they'd helped "Mamaw" into bed at their home, they would hear her in her room praying.  Praying out loud......alone in her room......for each person in her family.  Sometimes, for an hour or so.  Talking to God about specific needs that family members had.  How beautiful is that.  A grandmother who couldn't physically do for her family anymore but she could still talk to her Savior about them.

I went to a funeral today. 

Another sweet, little, southern Mamaw has gone to be with Jesus.

What a beautiful treasure they all were. 



Do something today that would make your Mimi/Granny/Nana/MawMaw/GanGan proud. 

   



    

18 comments:

  1. Joni, so sorry for the loss of your friend's grandmother. You hit it out of the park with this post....so many memories you put into exquisite words that brought back times with my Nanny and her home. I may have to do a similar post sometime about my times with my Nanny (and Bubby....grandfather)...apparently when I was litle he'd say he was my "buddy" but it came out Bubby from me.

    My mom will be 96 years young on June 22nd....she's still as feisty as can be!

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    1. Oh, I love that, Judy. Nanny and Bubby :) Sounds like you have sweet memories just like me. We were blessed to have them while we did. And I can't believe your Mom is 96! Sounds like she's just getting started! My great-grandmother lived to 106. Hope your Mom can live many more happy years. Good to hear from you, Judy!

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  2. I love this! Brought tears to my eyes. I lost my "Roro" (there's a different one for you) last year and this brought back so many memories of her and her house. Also reminded me of my Nanny that I lost about 5 years ago. Thank you for your wonderful writing!

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    1. April, I have never heard of Roro but that's a good one. I'm glad we all could remember our sweet grandmothers for a little while. Everyone has a soft spot for theirs. Thanks for your sweet words.

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  3. Joni, I just shared this on Facebook with a photo of my sweet Granny. It was like you knew her..............

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    1. Oh, thank you so much. I'm so glad I could kindle some sweet, old memories for you. Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. My sister, cousin, and I think you must have had the same Granny we had! This really spoke to our hearts and brought back so many memories for all of us. Thank you for capturing our thoughts so perfectly.

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    1. Awww, that means a lot. Must be true that all little, old Grannies were cut from the same cloth. What I wouldn't do to spend another day with mine. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate that so much.

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  5. I had tears, too. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. A beautiful tribute to your friends Mamaw. Reminds me of my Grandma from Wisconsin.
    Love this post Joni, Kathleen in Az

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  7. This is beautiful! It made me think. I am a grandma, and I am young-ish still. Am I providing these kinds of memories for my granddaughter and soon to be two more granddaughters? I hope they'll remember my love for them and that I pointed them to Jesus every day.

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    1. I know they will, Deanna! Young grandmas make awesome memories, too! No elastic waist, polyester pants required. :)

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  8. This reminds me so much of my Granny... I miss her so! Thank you for writing this, Joni.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. Glad we could all enjoy some sweet memories of our grandmas for a little while. I appreciate you reading.

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  9. This is precious and so spot on. I could see, smell and touch my grandmas again. Beautiful words.

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    1. Oh, this means more than you know. Thanks so much for that.

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