Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, MaMa--Remembering You Today and Always

Today would have been my grandmother's 94th birthday.  She would have hated for me to have shared her age with you.  I just wanted to share my reflection of what a wonderful woman she was. 

Perhaps you have had the privilege of sitting at her table and know firsthand what a FANTASTIC cook she was. Perhaps you were a “coffee friend” and you sipped coffee at 4 o’clock and had a piece of her FAMOUS 5-Flavor Pound Cake. Perhaps you can recall a time when she did something special for you or someone you love. Because to know my grandmother was to be filled.

Not just filled with tasty treats, strong coffee or sweet tea, but filled with LOVE.

My grandmother knew what it meant to GIVE. She knew better than anyone that it is far better to give than it is to receive. She was a giver. Before the term “servant’s heart” was made popular in church circles, she embodied what it is to have a servant’s heart. My grandmother served all of her life. She served others—her family, her neighbors, her friends and most assuredly her Lord. She taught us all how great it is to SERVE.

My grandmother was a prayer warrior. We used to joke that she had a hotline straight to God! She prayed through the most difficult losses in her life. She prayed for her family, she prayed for her friends, and she prayed for friends of those people—sometimes people she never knew. She shared her faith by praying for others. She was a real woman of FAITH.

My grandmother was determined. If you knew her well, you know that she was not a patient woman. (and I really RESPECT that quality in others since I might tend to demonstrate a bit of that myself) She was a busy person. She did not sit idle. MaMa (as we call her) was a worker. She said you must do so that you can do. And she did—pick up sticks, blow leaves off the driveway, sweep the porch and vacuum and vacuum and vacuum. That’s why she was never an old person. Even though she might have been chronologically older, she was not an old person. Throughout her life, she continued to DO.

She loved her home. She loved her yard. And she loved her birds! Matthew 7:26 says: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns…”–That’s right! The birds did not worry about storing up food b/c they all knew the way to MaMa’s house! Her favorite birds were the red birds or the cardinals. They never went without bird seed—MaMa saw to that! She kept her hummingbird feeders full of sweet, red nectar and the bird feeders full of seeds. She shooed away the squirrels (at times with a bb gun) and really enjoyed caring for the birds. She really CARED.

She cared for her family like no other. She loved and cared for her husband, my PaPa. She once told me that she was married for a year before she knew he had a fault. She loved and cared for my beautiful Aunt Bobbie throughout her battle with cancer. She loved and cared for my mother and daddy, my brother, my husband and me. And let me tell you how much she cared for my girls. During her time in the Woodlands, she was always uplifted when her great granddaughters came to visit. And in her last years, when she wasn’t able to physically serve others, she gave us an opportunity to serve her, teaching each of us about exponential love and compassion.

My grandmother was WISE. She had clever little sayings that often painted a real picture of her wisdom. Some of my favorites are: “Pretty is as pretty does”; “That’s no hill for a stepper”; “Self-praise is half scandal”; “Roll with the punches”; “Skin a gnat and swallow a camel”. Have I ever told you what she would say when we would come to the door? She kept her storm door locked and would come to unlock the door when you rang the bell and say, “Lift the latch and come in.” And we all came in, one by one, and we were each touched, served, loved, and cared for by her. On Thursday, February 26, 2009, in the early morning, I know that the Lord ran to that door and said to MaMa, “Lift the latch and come in.” And imagine the fanfare with which she was greeted.

It's been almost two years, since MaMa died.  I think of her often and miss her so much.  So on the day that would have been her 94th birthday, I'm reflecting, remembering and reliving many moments I was blessed to spend with a dear, dear lady. 


Anonymous said...

Tara...that was beautiful! Very touching.

STACY said...

That is a beautiful tribute to your beautiful grandmother, but then again you were always a good writer. In fact, I think I still have one of your papers from High School that you told me to keep because one day, you said, you would be famous for your writings. You probably do not remember telling me that. lol. I think youve been on your way to that for a few years now. Just let me know when you hit the jackpot girl!!
Love ya lots,
Stacy Warner

Made In The South said...

What a great post. Of course, I did not know her, but after reading this I would have loved to have been a part of her four o'clock coffee group. It is very hard to lose someone. My brother passed away at the age of 23. For his birthday I always tell my kids "I will not be sad for what could have been, I will smile and be happy that I was blessed to have had him in my life 23 years."
May you have a great Valentine's weekend,