My grandmother passed away 10 years ago. On Halloween. She has been on my mind a lot lately. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to have that woman in my life as long as I did. It's funny looking back, but when I think of major life lessons that I have learned, many of those came from her. Not as preachy lessons, but by her example and they way that she lived her life.
She was the most giving person that I have ever known. One time she had some furniture to sale that she advertised in the paper. A man called inquiring about the bed that was listed and said he wanted to purchase it sight unseen, because he needed a bed for his kids to sleep in. Well after he got there to pay, he explained some of his situation and my grandparents not only ended up giving him the bed, but also gave him some other furniture. Any TV preacher that sent her a letter got sent some money, not a lot, because they didn't have a lot, but they got something. I could recount many, many examples of her giving to others, but I won't right now. I thought she was a little naive and far too trusting. I asked her about it one day after I was an adult. I asked if she worried that she was being taken advantage of, that the people might not always use the money in the right way. She said there were probably times that people lied to get money or help from others. Bu she said that wasn't her problem, that if someone asked her for help and lied to her, they had to answer to God for that. But if she refused to help when she could and chose to be stingy, then she was the one that had to explain that to God. That lesson haunts me sometimes! Especially as I have grown older and a little more jaded. I want to be more giving like she was. And she gave with a open and caring heart, and believed in everyone until they proved themselves not trustworthy.
I just randomly decided to move to Nashville one day. Everyone wanted to know why and kept asking when I was moving back home. She never did. She let me know she missed me, but she never asked me to move back home. What did she ask me? She asked if I was happy and when I said I was she said "that's good".
I have always loved Halloween, as a child and as an adult. So did my Mamaw. She got such a kick out of seeing her grandkids and neighbors dressed up in their costumes. She would talk for weeks about this kid or that one and how cute they looked in their costume. When she died on Halloween day, it hurt so bad. I thought the joy had gone from Halloween forever. The joy was gone for a couple of years and replaced with sadness and missing her. Then I decided to pass out candy one year. The joy was back!! Instead of sadness, I felt a connection with her, every single time I opened the door and saw another kid in a cute costume.
From my Mamaw, I also got my love of words, of books, pens and papers and of poems and stories. She used to save poems that she found to read to me and I would do the same. Some of my fondest memories of spending time with her was after I was an adult and I worked close to her house. If I had a break, I would call her and ask her to make me cornbread and there would be some frying as I walked through the door. Sometimes I would pick up french fries from her favorite restaurant and take them to her instead. We had some very good visits during those lunches. I still miss her terribly, but I am grateful for the years that she was in my life.