Sunday, October 9, 2011

"I love ya, love ya, love ya."

Heaven gained an amazing woman on October 1 when my Mema passed away. She was living at home basically independent a little over a month ago, so this unexpected loss has not been easy. And she is actually the first family member I have lost in quite some time.

thanksgiving 112510 (7)Thanksgiving last year

I can't describe how special my Mema was. She was loved by all who knew her. Really. There was something special about her that just made everyone love her. And we were her life from the time I can remember.

independence day 070310 (5)Fourth of July 2010 at Lane’s

I was the first grandchild. I am named after her, and I named her Mema. Growing up we spent the night at her house on a weekly basis -- sometimes with friends, sometimes just the cousins. We watched MacGyver. And Savannah smiles. We spent many a New Year's Eve in her den with sparkling grape juice. We had spend the night parties, long baths in her huge tub with lots of toys, and rode bikes all over her neighborhood.

faegan's shower 061110 (17)Linsey’s baby shower this summer

She cooked pancakes. Bicycle, balloon, letter, animal pancakes. Anything we requested pancakes. Pancakes and zebra pies were her specialties. And kiwi. That's about all she cooked. She wasn't the cooking kind of grandmother, but she sure was the entertaining kind. She took us all over creation and drove a station wagon well into her 80's just so she could haul us all. The movies, skating, bowling, putt putt, Atlanta, reunions, the beach. She taught us the entire Ferranti and Teicher 6 minute patriotic medley. We sang it when we went on our outings. And we all tried to guess what time we would arrive down to the minute. One time she drove me to Daytona for our family vacation, and we left at 5am so that I would sleep the whole way and not be bored. My request, no problem.

independence day 070310 (12)Blair kisses

She sang us to sleep in the big bed in the back bedroom (she always slept in the middle). She'll be coming round the mountain. Love lifted me. School days. Minnie the Mermaid. Jesus loves the little children. Jesus loves me. I see the moon. And she told us stories about herself and our parents. And if we said we weren't sleepy, she would say, "Just lie real still." I can hear her now.

I don't know anyone who was more positive. She never complained about anything. She wasn't able to drive after a bleed in her back left her with paralysis, but she never said a word. Even though she was paralyzed, she worked to get mobile again and to go back to her house. And she did well there. She told me that she loved therapy.

july 4th at lanes 070411 (5)

Blair loved her. She loved to go to Mema's. One time I headed down her street without telling Blair what we were doing, and Blair said, "We gon' go see Mema right quick!" She knew exactly what she was allowed to play with at Mema's. The knitting yarn, the decorative rooster, and the bowl of pomegranites were her favorites.

And Mema loved all of her grandchildren dearly. She always thought of us. She sent me newspaper articles for as long as I can remember. And letters. She even wrote Blair letters. And the day before she died, as crappy as she felt, she had her nurse write the jewelry channel's number down so that she could order my sister something. (Bless her heart; she loved QVC.) She always thought of us.

mema's house 092110 (13)

She was so good to give us so many memories. I can tell stories from her childhood, my dad's, and from mine. She told me that I went through a phase when I called her Martha Ellen. In a store I told her, "Look Martha Ellen, ain't this cute?" And she let me have my frozen doves at her house (Yes, I played with dead birds.) She loved to tell the story about when I was 2 and my parents were on a cruise. My dove's head fell off at her house, and I told her that my daddy would fix it with the screwdriver.

mema's house 092110 (9)mema's house 092110 (10)

A visit to Mema’s last September

She loved chocolate, ginger, grapefruit, and egg nog. When I was barely old enough to talk, she taught me to say "I'm a cute little girl with a cute little figure. Stand back boys 'til I get a little bigger."

Every year, she went to the beach with us. She made drip drop castles with us. And she alternated spending the night with my cousin and with us on Christmas Eve. But at some point she was always at both of our houses on Christmas. And she pulled for Georgia Tech one year (us) and Georgia (our cousin) the next. She was all about us. Period.

blair's 2nd bday aunt linnie pics 100910 (142)Mema and Mimi at Blair’s birthday last year

Man I'm going to miss her. I can still hear her saying "hey dahlin'" just like she said to me when I called or stopped by. She was just so special. I told her that I hope I am half the grandmother she is to me. Her last words to me on Friday were "I love ya, love ya, love ya." She didn't even have to tell me. She showed me my whole life.

july 4th at lanes 070411 (10) smallerFourth of July 2011 at Lane’s

14 comments:

Katie Garvin said...

What a sweet tribute to a sweet lady! Still sending hugs y'all's way!

Julia said...

Oh Ash, this brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tribute you your Mema. I wish I had that kind of relationship with my grandmother(s). It is certainly the kind I dream of for my children.

Molly said...

Oh Ash! That was the best post I've ever read. I miss her so much already.
I got all the way down to "just lie real still" before I started boo Hooing. I need to finish my Mema post. I just keep thinking of more and more stuff.

Jan said...

She was truly one of a kind and I too hope that I can follow in her footsteps with my grandchildren. She certainly was the most unselfish person that I have ever known. She would be so proud of this story! You did good Ash! Love you!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Ashlee, that was such an awesome post. It made me cry & I know you did too writing it. Miss Martha Ellen was such a sweet lady & y'all are lucky to have had her for your Mema.

Amy Hiley said...

Lots of tears for me while reading this...what a wonderful way to remember a remarkable lady. Thanks for sharing. :)

Trey said...

She was a great lady Ash! Alway treated me like one of her own! I love you cuz!

Jamie said...

What a sweet tribute. I remember how much you loved her. I know she is looking down on you with such pride.
Praying for all of you.

Jen O'Daniel said...

So, after reading that sweet, sweet tribute to Mema, I'm a little cryy. (That's cry-ee.) I loved that. And I adore that her last words to you were "I love ya, love ya, love ya." She sounds absolutely perfect! My favorite picture is from July 4th where Blair is looking up at her adoringly. What a beautiful woman who has left such a remarkable legacy here on Earth, her family. Love to you, Ash. Hugs!

jmluckie said...

Great tribute to a great lady Ash.She will be missed by all that she touched.

GT said...

Really special Ash; just like Mema.

Candi James said...

Oh Ashlee, how sweet...I am tearing up and smiling at the same time. What wonderful memories you have of Ms. Martha Ellen! Your post seem so vivid to me, really came to life and I could just visualize it all.

I also knew her well in our younger years. She was about the coolest mother there was and so much fun! So smart and sweet, everyone loved her so much! I remember she had a refrigerator full of magnets as your dad and mom and many of us were growing up! I am talking about from the top to the bottom! All of the teenagers wanted to go to her house. We loved her so much. Then we graduated from high school and many years passed without seeing her.

Then one day a few years ago.... at Curves, here walks in Ms. Martha Ellen! I couldnt believe it. I walked over and hugged her tight and we talked and talked. She actually caught me up on all of you as we sweated it out together on those stupid machines LOL! In fact I think Linsey had just gotten married.....I would look forward to seeing her each week...then I stopped going and didnt see her again.

I am so thankful for the memories you have with her...as you obviously know she did love you all so much! We are so fortunate to rest in the fact that we will be able to see her again one day, well and happy, free from all sickness, ....Oh what a glorious day that will be.

All of you are so sweet....very special folks....and so was Mema.

Shane said...

Okay...I'm crying like a little baby, not just because I remember your Mema when y'all were growing up, but also because all of those memories you mentioned remind me of the ones I have of my Grandmama Ruth! They were alot alike, those two! And they were both SO SPECIAL! They were such a RARE breed and Mrs. Martha Ellen will be sorely missed by SO many...but you know that, just as I knew when my G'ma passed. I can tell you that the hurt never goes away, but it slowly morphs into a gentler, kinder ache over the years...This is an awesome tribute to an awesome woman! Hugs, Love and prayers to you and the family!

Lynn said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. She sounds like a very special lady :)