I woke this morning to beautiful sunny skies holding the promise of a gorgeous day. I was so thankful. Not only am I thankful that I can shove the dogs out the door and not feel bad about their being outside in rain or yucky weather. Not only can I go out and play with the kids in the sand box or on the swingset. I am thankful today is a beautiful spring day because it is my grandmother's birthday. Although she has been singing with the angels for many years now, her birthday never sneaks up on me. I anticipate it and savor the day to remember a woman of faith.
Mamaw, as we called her, was a beautiful woman. She caught my papaw's eye the first time he saw her. And is wasn't just that he saw her, he set his sights on her. He told us when he saw her he thought to himself, "I'm going to get that girl." And he did. And I am blessed because of it.
Mamaw was gifted in many ways. She was a fabulous cook, had the greenest thumb around, and played the piano really well. My dad remembers sitting with her listening to her play song after song. Classical and hymns, she could play them all. When I spent the night with them, Mamaw would loosen her arthritic fingers and play for me. In my mind, no one played better than she.
I learned to love making bread standing at her elbow (probably very much in the way). I spent many hours in her flower beds, planting, weeding, watering, learning. She was so patient with me. She taught me to play the piano. She tried to teach me to paint, but my artistic abilities resemble a five year olds. She loved to listen to us read, watch us dance, listen to our 'concerts'. She was an awesome mamaw.
One of my favorite memories of Mamaw involves both she and my papaw. They had all of my siblings and I to their house to spend the night on a rotating basis. Mamaw would come tuck me in and listen to me pray and then I would stay awake so I could listen to Mamaw and Papaw pray aloud together. This continued through my elementary years.
Mamaw had several strokes that took away her ability to talk and eventually to walk. They moved into my parents house and along with home health aids, we helped Papaw care for her until her death. I remember one night going in to say goodnight, but stopped at their doorway. Papaw was kneeling by Mamaw's hospital bed, holding her hand and praying for them both. Mamaw was watching him with such love in her eyes it made me turn away in tears.
One piece of her legacy I did not find until after her death. Mamaw kept a prayer diary. In it she prayed each day for each of her grandchildren. When I read the prayer Mamaw prayed for me for years, it amazed me. She wrote a prayer for me when I was a small child, yet as a young adult, it was the prayer I knew I needed to begin praying for myself.
Mamaw's decision to pray for each of us as God led her blesses me to this day. I know some of her prayers are still being answered. Some have been fulfilled. Either way, I know I have been held to the Father long before I knew I needed to be. That is my inheritance and I cherish it.
So today, on this beautiful spring day that reminds me of her love of life, flowers, and all things beautiful I remember. I am so thankful for this woman who I get to call Mamaw.