Friday, January 27, 2012

A tribute to Mee-Maw

On January 17, my sweet Grandmother passed away from this earth. She was 87 years old. I wanted to share a few things that stand out in my mind about my Grandma, Molly Anne, who both of my girls are named after, and who, when my older brother couldn't say Grandma, he nicknamed "Mee-Maw." The name stuck.

She was a child of the 1920s. Born and raised in the South. She was not what I would call a southern belle, though. She was a tough cookie. Her mother died when she was just 13 years old, and in order to save her family (of seven children, the youngest only 2 years old) from being split up to different relatives, she promised her police chief father that she would take care of the home and the kids if he would allow them to stay together, with him. He did, and she kept up her end of the bargain. She finished high school and went to business college. She worked for a tobacco company and finished her career by working for 42 years as a bookkeeper for the North Carolina News Company. She raised 4 children of her own (my awesome mother being one of them) mostly by herself after her marriage ended when her baby was only a few years old. A product of her hard work was that she taught her children the same values. She also kept a clean home and was one of the best cooks I have ever met. Her coconut cake, boiled custard, fried okra, and collard greens being just a few of the favorite flavors of my childhood. Of course, we can't forget the fruit cake. Or can we?

Mee-Maw always lived 2,000 miles away from me, yet she was an example and a rock in my life. My summers in North Carolina, or her visits to Utah were the highlights of my childhood. She was so much fun. I always had a great time learning a new card game from her or watching The Price is Right with her. She should've been a contestant on that show. She was a natural! She took us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, along with my late aunt, Carolyn, and took us swimming and to the movies. Her family meant the world to her.

I will miss so many things about Mee-Maw. Her funny southern phrases, her sense of humor, and the way she loved Duke basketball. She made such an impact on my life and who I am, not only because of who she was, but because of the daughter she gave me for a mother. It's amazing how goodness is passed down.

I was very blessed to be able to attend her funeral, in Durham, North Carolina, and let me tell you , it was a packed church. She had so many friends and family there, and it was wonderful to hear all of the lives she touched in her long life. I am so grateful that she died peacefully and without a struggle. And, I know that she had a wonderful greeting in heaven.

I will love you forever, Mee-Maw. I will try to live my life so that you would be proud.

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