Saturday, October 29

Saying goodbye.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to our Mamaw Huff.  I say "our" Mamaw because even though she is really John's grandmother, it was clear from day one of meeting me that she would be mine as well.  It was certainly time for her to go, as she was no longer really in this world.  In the last few years, she lost her memory little by little, and the last few months, she lost everything else.  When life ceases to be nothing, it is time to go.  My children learned that lesson first hand with their great grandmother.  Death isn't nearly so scary to them anymore.  Sad? of course.  Scary? Not so much.

She was an amazing woman.  One of the pastors spoke of her at the funeral and compared her life to the life of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I am not sure I have ever heard a more beautiful, accurate comparison.  She was a jewel.  She grew up in the depression and kept cash stuffed in all sorts of places.  She was resourceful--she is the first person I knew to wash aluminum foil and plastic bags.  She kept everything and reused as much as she could.  She saved money instead of spending it.  Her house was always open for guests.  As a matter of fact, you knew she was home because she would open her front door and just leave the storm door locked.  Unless it was freezing, that front door was open when she was home.  My children loved to watch cars go by standing at that door.  Mamaw kept her yard BEAUTIFUL, and for that I am so thankful, because she passed that on to my husband.  When I married John, the only thing I had ever kept alive was a small ivy plant.  My yard is completely full of flowers and plants because of Mamaw's love for those things.  The lilies I moved from her yard to mine a few seasons ago will be all the more special this June when they bloom.

One of the things the pastor said was that she never spoke ill of anyone.  And although I am sure she probably did to her closest confidants, I am not sure I ever heard her say anything ugly about anyone.  She just kept going.  She served others without thinking about it.  I remember her chest freezer being stocked with frozen cake layers because "you just don't know when someone might need a cake."  She was a forward thinker.

She loved my children, and she was so proud of them.  When they were small, she kept toys for them to play with AND she absolutely did not care how badly they scattered those toys.  She hung a swing in the garage for the little ones.  She read to them, sang with them, colored with them, cooked with them, and just shared life with them.  They may be small, but they remember that.  When you are desperately loved, you know it.  My children knew it, and they loved her back.

And Mamaw loved me.  When Maggie was a baby and I stopped working, I found myself quite lonely.  I lived way out in Paulding County with no one nearby.  Often I would pack Maggie and myself up for the day   and go hang out at Mamaw's house.  We would do her grocery shopping or just visit her sisters.  We would watch Maggie (and Bentley later) play in the yard.  I would help her with her flowers.  She would tell me stories--stories her family had probably grown tired of by now, but they were rich treasures to me.  I loved learning who was related to who and the history of her life.  She had a beautiful, rich history.  She taught me to cook in those years, and she gave me confidence as I ventured into parenting.  She loved me as if I were her very own.

She will definitely be missed, but I am so thankful for the legacy she left all of us.

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