Monday, December 18, 2006

Dear Mamaw

Dear Mamaw,

It's a week 'til Christmas. I know if this were twenty years ago, you'd be going to town with Mom or one of the other girls and buying a gift for every single person in the family. Eleven kids, their spouses, and all twenty or thirty-some-odd grandkids.

I never thought about it then, but looking back, it's amazing how you made each of us feel special. I had no doubt you'd do anything in your power for me. And I'm confident the other grandkids felt the same.

I miss you, Mamaw.

It's especially hard around the holidays. We still get together on Christmas Eve. And it's still my favorite time of the year. But something's missing. Every year, I look around at everyone talking, laughing, singing. And I wonder if they think the same thing I think. Someone's missing.

Some of my absolute favorite memories in life are Christmas Eves at your house. I remember the year it snowed and the pond iced over. The year one of my cousins was getting a bicycle for Christmas and I could hear my uncle beating and banging and putting it together. The year we were driving home from your house and I saw Santa Claus knocking on someone's door, and got worried I wasn't going to get home and get to sleep in time.

One of my favorite Christmases was the year I spent the night with you on the 23rd. And being there the next afternoon when all the family started arriving. I wish I'd done that every year. I'll always regret not spending more time with you, Mamaw.

I know you understand. But it was my loss. We don't realize certain things when we're young. But anytime I passed up an opportunity to spend time with you, it was always my loss.

Do you remember the last time I saw you, Mamaw? I don't. I can't. And it makes me sad. Although I guess it's good for you that it happened quickly. That you didn't suffer or go thru some prolonged illness. I just wish I'd been able to say goodbye.

I'm worried about Mom lately. Work has been very stressful for her the last couple of years. She's having health problems more frequently. She's started repeating herself a lot. I don't know what to do, or say. I wish she had you to call and talk to about things.

I try and spend time with her whenever she asks. Even though she called me Thursday night to see if I'd ride to Walgreen's with her. And I told her no. I feel guilty about it now. But we went shopping Saturday. And I'm gonna keep trying to do better.

I still remember your phone number. To this day. That must mean I called you a lot, right Mamaw? That must be a good sign or something. If I remember your phone number after all these years. I wish I still had you to call and talk to.

Sometimes I wonder what things about myself I got from you. I remember how kind you were. How giving. How you put others ahead of yourself. You lived in an old two-bedroom frame house, never had a car or even learned to drive. And you let me borrow money to go to my junior prom.

I don't know if I ever said thank you for that. I don't even know if I ever paid you back. But thank you, Mamaw. I hope some of your good rubbed off on me.

As for me, Mamaw, I'm doing well. I've rediscovered a love, and perhaps some talent, for writing. Sometimes I've written things that have made someone cry. This is the first time I've ever teared up while writing.

I'm 33 now. Next year will be fifteen years since you left us. It's hard to believe I've been without you nearly half my life. I'm trying to remember as much as I can about you. And writing it down, in case I forget.

I remember how you'd sit up late watching Carson. He retired just a few weeks after you left us. I like staying up watching Letterman. I remember how you'd snack on bananas and Doritos. And how you'd always send me home with a bag of candy, fruit, and other goodies.

One thing I miss the most, Mamaw, is how you were always proud of me. I think that's the greatest gift anyone could ever give. Unconditional love. I guess I don't have the greatest job now. I'm not rich and famous. Not married. No kids. But I know if you were here today, you'd still be proud to call me your grandson.

And I'll always be proud to call you Mamaw.

I miss you.


  1. And I'm sure she's really proud of you. :) You're right, it's the holidays when we miss our loved ones who are gone.

  2. Oh Bone you made me tear up. This was very beautiful

    And goodness is hereditary. I think you grandmother is watching all her grandkids and especially smiling down at one. One, didn't say you :-)

    Though of course she sounds like she can watch over all over you

    And I can't believe that you don't know the exact number of grandkids in your family. When just last week you were sprouting off those calculations....

  3. Beautifully written. Grandmothers do have a special place in our hearts, don't they. I think my grandma has been dead about 19 years now and I still miss her and think of her. Try not to dwell too much on the regrets...the things you should have done or didn't do means nothing to our loved ones in the afterlife.

  4. Well, happy Monday morning to you too...

    No, honestly, through my tears I want to tell you that this is amazing. I doubt she can help but still be proud of you. And now I'm going to go dry my eyes before someone asks me why I'm crying.

  5. wonderful post bone. grandma's are so special. i miss mine too.

  6. Beautiful tribute.
    My dad's mom passed away this year. I didn't go to the funeral because I was told there wasn't going to be one. Then I got pictures from it. At least none of my siblings were invited either...just my one Aunt's kids.

    I still have my other grandma. I hope my Aunt & Uncle get their heads out of their rear and keep us posted on Grandma's health. I'll be really mad if she passes away and they don't tell me.

    You had a very special relationship with your Mamaw. Not many folks get that anymore. Even after living with my one grandma I don't have that kind of relationship with her. 'course my family puts the FUN in DisFUNctional. LOL

  7. Oh dammit. You made me mess up my mascara. This was the best thing you've ever written. I know your Mamaw is so proud of you. She sounds like a wonderful lady. I don't know why, but the part about letting you borrow money for your junior prom just really gets me.

    For me it's not Christmas, it's Thanksgiving. Since my great-grandma passed away in 1999, we haven't had the same tradition. I miss it so much. I miss her. I think about her a lot.

  8. You just broke my heart a little.
    You have to know that she's proud of who you've become.

    You also made me swear to myself that I will call both my mammaw and my grandma tonight.
    I take them for granted far more than I should.
    They've always been there and I guess part of me refuses to believe that they won't always be there.

  9. Well you know I'm bawling my head off. I'm sure she's very proud of you. Always do things with your mom. Even when you don't want to. When they leave this world, make sure you have no regrets.

  10. Thats a really nice post, Bone...

    I miss my grandpa so much. I'd love to be able to spend one more day with him... now, i'm crying *tear plop*

  11. That was beautiful. It sounds like you had a special relationship with your grandmother, just like I do with mine...some things money can't buy :)

  12. My mamaw and your mamaw are sitting together somewhere laughing and being joyous talking about what we're doing, how we've grown up, and how much they look forward to seeing us. My mamaw gave me uncondtional love too. She made me feel like I was the most special person that ever lived. Oh the stories I could write. They would be endless.

  13. Oh Bone....this is so beautiful....moved me to tears. I think you reminded everyone of the ones we've lost and not to take for granted those that are still with us....Thank you! ~Hugs~

  14. Today is the first day I've been on your blog in months. You sure made me cry. I think about losing Nonny or my parents and it kills me. Your blog was special. Those were things about Lucy that I never knew. I think she passed when I was about 8. I remember Tammy picking her up to go to chuch. That is about the only memory I have of her. Thanks for the post. It really touched my heart.

    PS. Yesterday I lost a dear friend of mine and to many in Muscle Shoals, Huntsville, and Nashville. His name is Sammy Motes. Co-Owner of Hog Wild Saloon and Hog Wild Limo. He had a massive heart attack Thursday night and was in a coma and on life support until yesterday. The doctors told the family that there was zero brain activity and they took him off life support around 4pm. Sammy left us at 6:55pm, December 19, 2006. Please pray for his family and friends. Sammy was a one of a kind man who ALWAYS had a smile on his face. Thanks!

  15. Thank you all. This was a difficult post to write, and felt too personal at times. But these are some of the most wonderful comments I've ever received.

    Thank you.

  16. <a href="" rel="nofollow">Maxwells</a>9/10/2007 04:26:00 AM

    I see first time your site guys. I like you :)

  17. Precious. I love grandparents. Love those silly memories we have of them-- I think they stay with you for a long time.
    I'm blessed because I got to read this. Seriously.
    I miss my Pepaw, too. I think he and your Mamaw can hang out now.