Before I begin, let me announce that I have been in a funky, over-emotional state the past few days, and this post will probably be brimming with sappiness and sentimental anecdotes. You were warned.
Four years ago today, my Memaw finished the race and her life on Earth in order to continue the journey in Heaven. I hate saying she "passed away." Don't smoke, kids, it does awful things to your lungs.
Memaw was a memorable lady. She was crazy. Nothing I say will be understandable to those who did not know her: she knew how to play her nose, claimed she dated Elvis once, bought some crazy random stuff at yard sales, became the yard sale pro, and called her husband's name in a pretty obnoxious way... yet loved him so much. She made up her own rules for Scrabble and loved "My Achy Breaky Heart." I'm still mad at her for trying to fix my crooked toes (the source of my intense disgust for feet), but I love her for always loving my curls ("Little girl with little curls"). My friends loved her but were scared to death of her. She gave me a pound of Colby Cheese for my birthday, and tried so many times to get me to go home with a bag of underwear she found at a yard sale.
I owe her a lot for teaching me how to wrap gifts, and for paying me to wrap all her Christmas gifts (even my own) so I could go on all my mission trips. That lady had such a giving heart. She was one of those who brought food to the homeless people on the side of the road and all her old toys to homeless shelters. She never met a stranger... sometimes to our embarrassment, but always to that person's newfound joy. She cried every single Thanksgiving, birthday, and Christmas, because she was too overwhelmed with all her blessings. She gave me my sewing machine. She called just to say hello. Of all the people in my life, I wish she were here right now so I could share with her everything that God has done in my life... I know she would listen, and I know she would still be my biggest fan, even if it meant that I move across the globe.
Even though I got so mad every time she made me sing for her because she thought I was a good singer, or bought me random piano books because she thought I was a great piano player (I think she was lying), I smile every time I think about the name she gave me based off the first song I ever played on the piano- "Miss Rhodie." She had 16 grandchildren, and she treated each one like they were her favorite... seriously. I wish I had her amount of unconditional love and energetic life!
When Memaw died my sophomore year of high school, I was devastated. It was the first death I had experienced, and it was the person who meant the most to me. I look back on that month and see it as a pivotal point in my walk with Christ; so much so that it is actually included as a crucial part of my testimony. I learned that God is my comforter and that I am never alone, and I learned to be thankful for my blessings. Sometimes I still wonder why God chose to take her as soon as He did, because I still pain over losing her. It kinda makes my stomach feel queasy and my mouth turn bitter just thinking about it. I wish so badly that she could be here today, but I know she is the most obnoxious Jesus-worshiper and the happiest woman Heaven knows right now!
One of the last conversations I had with her was on the phone before I left with my church to go on a mission trip to NYC. She had given me a hefty check to pay for it, and was calling to pray for me before I left. The woman could hardly breathe, and yet she got the prayer out in a sweet way. Oh, Memaw.
Who has touched your life, and how? If they are still here on Earth, do they know how much they mean to you? Tell them. I wish I had.