She loved her grandkids, and like all grandmother's, she spoiled them rotten and let them get by with things that would have resulted in swift and severe punishment had I done them! They say grandkids are different ... and better ... than having kids of your own. I guess that must be true.
For instance ... and this is a true story ... she watched the kids for me one time when my oldest was about 2 1/2, and my second daughter was only about 6 months (my son wasn't born yet). I came home well after midnight and found her rummaging through the kitchen cabinets searching for something. I thought she might have a headache and was looking for ibuprofen.
"What are you looking for, Mama? I'll get it for you."
"Oh," she replied innocently, "your daughter wanted chocolate."
You have GOT to be kidding me!!!!!
Nice try, old woman, but you're not giving that child chocolate in the middle of the night!!
As I crawled into bed that night, I couldn't help but wonder ... "Where was that woman when I wanted chocolate at two o'clock in the morning?!!!!"
Mama had the kindest heart of anyone I've ever known. She only saw the good in people. If you had committed a crime, you would have wanted her on the jury.
And she was really funny. She was one of those people everyone loved being around. Mama was just naturally good and nice. She truly did not have a mean bone in her body.
There were eight kids in our family ... six girls and two boys ... and one bathroom! My dad had to get up really, really early to get his turn! To say our house was a madhouse would be an understatement. It was chaotic and messy and loud! I figured she was counting the days until all of us kids left home! One time, as an adult, I asked her when she was the happiest.
She knew the answer without even having to think about it. "When all of you kids were at home." Now that is a woman born to be a mom.
Like all mothers, she made mistakes, but I never once doubted that she loved us more than she ever thought of loving herself.
Mama loved to read. She could easily read a book a day, and often did. Once Daddy was gone and she had no one to take care of anymore, she read constantly ... and reading was her answer to everything.
"Mama, I'm bored!"
"Read a book."
"Mama, I'm hungry!"
"Read a book until supper."
"Mama, so-and-so won't play with me!"
"Then don't play with her and read a book."
"Mama, so-and-so hit me!"
"Then stay away from her and read a book."
Growing up, my mother took us to the library all the time ... and by all the time, I mean sometimes every single day during the summer! I loved going to the library, and that's where the seed of becoming an author took root. She didn't live to see me realize my dream and I never got to hand her one of my books and watch her face light up.
Sometimes I dream about her. Instead of waking up sad, I wake up happy ... I got to spend a few minutes with my Mother.
I miss you, Mama, and there isn't a day go by that I don't think about you and wish you were here.
As I fall asleep tonight, I know I'm going to be hoping my mother pays me a visit again ... and that I get to spend a few minutes with my Mama.