Two years ago yesterday (February 3rd) my grandmother died. I always wanted to be like Mammie, my paternal grandmother. Here are a few of the wonderful things I remember about this special lady who has always inspired me:
She had a ready laugh and smile. She was funny and easy-going. I remember her as a very happy person.
She never met a stranger. I remember going places with Mammie where we knew no one, but before we left she had a new friend.
She had the gift of hospitality. Everyone felt welcome in her home.
She loved to cook. Her kitchen was a warm and happy place. I loved Sunday lunches at Mammie's house.
She collected recipes, writing them on scraps of paper, backs of old bank deposit slips, on envelops or whatever other small paper she could find in her big black purse.
She sang and whistled a lot. She sang alto in the church choir. When we sing certain songs in church, it seems like I can still hear her voice.
She loved to scratch backs and stroke heads and hold hands.
She could make more juice come out of an orange than anyone I know, and as a child I simply adored her "rabbit pancakes."
Mammie worked alongside my grandfather. He paid her in dimes.
She always had on earrings.
She wore the perfume Beautiful by Estee Lauder. Last year, I bought some for myself. I wear it whenever I miss her the most and it feels like her arms are giving me a big hug once again.
Besides my parents, she loved me the best of anyone. I was her first grandchild. Even after she developed Alzheimer's and often couldn't recall my name, she never ever forgot that I was her first. The last real conversation I remember having with her, she said, "You are my first grandchild. Don't ever forget that. I prayed you here and you are so very special to me." I enver doubted that she loved me and I always felt like I was extra-special to her.
I miss you, Mammie! Can't wait to see you again in Heaven.
Both of these pictures are of me (age 3 1/2 months) with my grandmother, Juanita Joyce Terry.