Sunday, January 13, 2013
Happy Birthday, Mamaw
Rickie and I spent all day yesterday working, burning brush and cutting firewood. So today I've spent most of the day in the easy chair by the fireplace, reading and downloading Paul Thorn songs. All work and no play, you know.
Darkness is settling over us. There is a sliver of moon outside the window, what Sarah used to call a "fingernail moon" when she was little. Paul Thorn is softly singing When the Long Road Ends. The fire is flickering in the fireplace and threatening to go out. I've got the Texans playoff game on TV with the sound down and they're threatening to go out too.
When I was a little girl she worked in a print shop downtown, operating a mysterious machine that cut and bound notepaper tablets. I remember going to see her there. She sat right inside the front door on an elevated platform behind the big machine. I thought she was amazing.
I never walked into a room where she was that her face did not light up to see me. I don't recall her ever saying an unkind word to me. She lived with my parents and took care of the home, doing the cooking, laundry, and being there for the kids. She bought my school clothes and every Easter outfit I had growing up. At different times she kept my boys for me when I was at work. When I was a little girl we lived in a duplex with my grandparents on one side and I always went to her house every night after supper and stayed until bedtime. When I was far from home she wrote me letters that I still have. I take them out and read them when I need a dose of Mamaw love.
I left home when I was 17 years old. I am often the "odd man out" in my family. As with most people, the call I hear is my own. I miss most gatherings of my family because I am far away from the family core. I live a different way of life than most of my family and the influences that shaped me are not the same as the ones that shaped them. That's true of everyone, I believe. But with my Mamaw I was never the odd man out. I always had the feeling that if she could have made me any way she wanted to, that she would have made me just the way I was.
But what I wouldn't give to walk into a room and see my Mamaw smile at me and know that, in her eyes, I turned out just the way she hoped I would.