Friday, April 27, 2007

Mamy's Birthday A Decade Later

I looked around the walls of my home tonight. I saw My grandmother(in law) here. Theres the mirror she bought in her early twenties and thought that she had spent the most outrageous money on frivolity. Its so beautiful and grand I thought. A little tarnished now, but sparkles earned no doubt. I turned into the next room and spied a cherished plate of hers. I remember what she told me when she gave it to me. She said that when I become old, I will reap the seeds that I have sown..and may it be a bountiful harvest such as the one depicted on this plate. She was truly the kindest person I have known to date. I have spent many a year picking up this and that from people I’ve admired. None can compare to the kindness skills she has given me for lifes journey.
Her eyes were like cotton candy to me, soft, shiny and blue. Her hair now was as white as the driven snow. Her aged body had all but given up on life the last year that we were together, but still she had enough spunk in her to joke around with me. She teased that I was a speed demon with her walker and that the other old folks were jealous. I think that the only thing that they were jealous of was the granddaughter that spent so much time there. Since her health was waning, I knew that I had precious little time left. I remember hating the fact that she was put in a retirement home at all. The choice was not mine, of coarse, but I understand the need for constant care. I did the gratuitous thing and took the children to her on occasion but the best times were spent with her and me alone. We really got the place going singing to all the old folks around…lol Mamy said we could be heard downtown! She even played a mean game of Rummy , and I think remains the family champion. I thank God that I had the good sense to sponge up every drop of wisdom I could from this old woman. I am grateful for time spent with her, and the cherished material items as well. These to me are merely tokens of a memory of love.Much fonder memories than the ones of her death. I will always be grateful to have had her in my life, as I had not had the priveledge of having my bio grandmother with me.

I stayed with mamy until the end of her life. It had been decided that cremation was in order. Not my choice,I wasn’t in charge. This was a pivotal moment in my 40 year old life. One that helped to change my surroundings forever. I was terrified when asked to dress my beloved Mamy for her memorial services. She was dead afterall, and I was in mourning. No matter, I completed the task. I spoke with her even then, only she could not respond. I chose her favorite blue dress that she had worn to my wedding.I remembered how excited she was to shop for it. It had to be baby blue to match her eyes, and her grandsons. Her photograph could not have her eyewear in them. She had made her wishes known. As I dressed her stiffening body, I couldn’t help but think of my own passing. Was I doomed for the sad ending she had had? Who would be dressing me and feeling so much pain? Could I say that I had lived a rich and full happy life? Or will be full of regrets and mistakes? I wrestled the last of her clothes on and I was moved to tears yet again. I wondered if Mamy thought it would end this way. In a nursing home with a limited social life, and not enough love to fill a tea cup. Is that what we get for giving so much of ourselves for the happiness of others?
Soon I was dragged off to assist in choosing which porcelain pot Mamy would spend eternity in. Horrified I listened as my mother in law made the choice. I wanted to stand and yell “ You aren’t putting her in that pot!” I chose silence instead.
I wanted so badly to have God himself tell me how she was. I became numb from that point on, and I don’t think I really awakened for a year or so. I did however make some changes in my life. For I learned from her one of the most valuable lessons, that we only do this once, so I‘d better make it count.
Tonight, I look in this mirror of hers…………and I see the face of lifes lessons learned, with an abundance of Mamy’s kindness. Cotton candy for me please.

7 comments:

Jan said...

That Mamy sounds like a very wise woman.... now why does she remind me of someone I know... hmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

I think your Mamy and my Bubby could of been sisters. :(

Carla said...

Hi Gina, just found your site- well done!! Hugs, Carla

Dianah said...

I got ripped off!!! I went to the Stockton Quilt shop only to get a goodie bag with Sarah's picture in it. Did I get one? Noooooo. I got a different card. I don't even get to hop this year.

Your Mamy sounds a lot like my aunt. So after crying from reading this and missing my aunt, I went and got out her embellishment box just to look through it.

Dy

The Sarah Bear said...

Gina - I think I know you.. and then... you show me more. Thank you!

Death sucks... for us, but I believe, and I pray... that for those we lose, it is a blessing as they are received into a place that none of us could imagine, and embraced by a love, that none of us have yet experienced... Your Mamy and my grandma and grandpa... well.... they are probably playing Rummy together... sipping coffee... and solving the problems of the world...

Love ya sis...

Barb said...

Oh Gina ((((hug)))

Anonymous said...

omg, I read this late.....I just went in and looked at my collection of Mammy's china that was passed down to me after her death.Its all shiny and polished at is was when her grandmother gave it to her....even though I was young and didnt know her, Im glad that you had the chance to know your grandmother, and are here today to share such fond memories of your time together...K

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