To be completely and totally phonetically proper, this name should be spelled MawMaw. Because I’m talking about my grandmother, not referring to my own mother in southern twang. And though it is spelled phonetically wrong, just pronounce it right in your head and I’ll be happy.
We all have people we remember with great emotion. My mama is one of those people for me. She was always around. She was the quintessential grandmother: Sweet. Plump. Polyester pants and clamdiggers (and she called them clamdiggers!). Canvas keds with an old lady rubber sole. Cokes in the refrigerator and full sized candy bars in the candy jar that were offered to us every time we walked through the door. The supply never ran out. Quarters for us for jobs that were too easy. The Young and the Restless every day at 1:30 and Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights. That part I don’t remember all that fondly. Man, I hated Lawrence Welk. Man.
Whatever you asked of her, the answer was yes. She never, EVER got mad at us. And I loved her for all of it. Even Lawrence Welk. Maybe.
She was determined that she would not lose her mind. She was going to die with her mind fully functioning. I would be skeptical of a person having this kind of control except that she managed to do just that. She died of complications related to cancer far sooner than we were ready to let her go. But I have to believe that she went out on her own terms and I was forced to accept that. I was away at college when I found out she was gone. I went back home, did the funeral thing, went back to school, did the school thing, came home, did the summer thing, finished another year of college, and then got engaged. Somewhere in all of that time, my parents went through a lot of her stuff. And the night I got engaged and came home with Todd to tell my parents, my mom brought a box down off a shelf in a closet and gave it to me as a present.
I opened it up, all smiles, having no idea what to expect. It was an afghan made by my mama, one crochet square at a time. And sitting on top of that ivory afghan was a tiny little note in handwriting I will never forget. It said, “For Missy when she marries. With love, Mama.” I broke down crying. There she was, many months later sending me a note, meeting Todd through a gift. That was one of the greatest gifts I ever got from anyone.
I went through many of her boxes of books and bibles later and found several copies of a couple of different poems. She was all about little poems and quotes. This one has always been sweet to me. And since I found it on my laptop today, I got all sappy and decided to post it. Forgive me. Surely you can let me have this one time…
Bits and Pieces
Bits and pieces, bits and pieces.
People important to you, People unimportant to you cross your life, touch it with love and move on.
There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them.
There are people who leave you, and you breathe a sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go and leave such a gaping hole.
Children leave parents, friends leave friends. Acquaintances move on. People change homes. People grow apart.
Enemies hate and move on. Friends love and move on.
You think of the many people who have moved in and out of your hazy memory.
You look at those present and wonder.
I believe in God’s master plan in lives. He moves people in and out of each other’s lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who have ever touched your life. You are more because of them, and would be less if they had not touched you.
Pray that you accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder,
and never question
and never regret.
Bit’s and pieces,
bits and pieces.