So many memories flood my mind as so much grief wracks my heart, mind and soul. I tell myself, don't think about it and I can just pretend she's still there just a phone call away but I know I will never hear that voice on the other end of the line never again. I will never spend another time talking about the latest book she's been reading and sharing with her the things I've been doing. Now is when one thinks, oh if only I'd have called more, visited more, taken more pictures, said more "I love yous" if only I could just turn back time and say just one more thing.
I wasn't ready for this.
Life will never ever be the same again.
Just one week before she left us we chatted on the phone and when I hung up I said "I love you" and she replied " I love you" me not knowing it would be the very last I love you that I would ever hear from her.
I wonder how long just the mention of something that even remotely related to her will send me running for somewhere to hide and get control once again, a picture, a word, and even just a stray thought that comes through and this litany of "stop Janaya stop" until I can talk myself through the pain and tears once again and push it way back to that corner and cover it up again.
The song that continues through my mind is "Jesus take a hold, and hold onto me, I'm the weakest of your children, oh how I need thee and if I make it through, the only way it will be, is Jesus take a hold and hold onto me"
I'll never forget how well she could diagram a sentence. She knew English grammar inside and out and I had the hardest time with all that and she was always willing to sit down and make me understand it all and get my school work done.
She loved company. We had a family of cousins. A very large family and they would show up randomly and we'd see them coming down that long drive and we'd all yell The Martins are coming and Paw-Paw would say " better get a pot of dumplings on" and off she'd go to make a huge pot of chicken and dumplings and corn bread and never one time did I hear her complain about the mess, the work or the house full of kids running all over. Her house was always open, the door was literally never locked, and if for some reason it did get locked by someone if you were family you knew to just reach above the porch light and there'd be a key, all the family knew when you get to Maw-Maws just come on in, she never cared what time it was or how long you stayed.
I'll never forget the brown couch that all the grandkids loved to jump on. And our parents would come and get onto us and Maw-Maw would tell them, you don't get onto them they are allowed to jump on my couch.
As I grew older we enjoyed each other's company reading books. She loved to read and so did I though our tastes in reading material were vastly different. She absolutely would not read fiction, I on the other hand barely would read non-fiction. She would always tell me why did I want to fill my head with nonsense I needed to read about true people and true happenings and then she'd tell me all about a president biography or the latest true crime story she had been reading.
She would always tell me how my boys reminded her so much of her boys. Dallas was her first great grandchild and my oh my how happy she was that he was a boy, she always was partial to boys because that's what she had was two boys of her own. She would keep him any time she could.
Back in Washington we'd meet for lunch many times. I'd call her and ask had she ate yet. Yes she had but she would eat again she'd say many times. I never remember her turning down meeting with me or having any of us over.
She was known far and wide for the welding caps she made. No one could make them like her and they would sell like hot cakes whenever someone brought some to the job. She wanted me to learn so much and I never did have a knack for sewing and she was so good at it, she could sew anything in hardly no time at all. I'd try but end up with a hole in the top of the cap and seams that looked drunk. I never did figure how she could just put that sewing peddle all the way to the floor and machine going fast as it could and her lines be as straight as could be. She'd always just tell me "just practice"
I always wanted to try whatever she was doing. She tried teaching me to crochet once. I got it down enough to make a long line so it was just a line of crocheted yarn and I'd sit and do my line while she did her doilies and she would tell me how good I was doing and just make me feel so proud.
Maw-Maw always had a type writer and I loved to play office and she'd let me use her type writer and get me all kinds of cool office things. I'll never forget the day she bought the coolest type writer that would erase. You could hit a back button and it would make a clackety clack noise and your letter would disappear. It didn't matter that it was brand new and probably very expensive at the time and here I was a little kid and might break her expensive new type writer, if I needed it for playing office then of course I could use it and all her pens too, she always had many pens of every shape and size.
Oh so many memories that I can always hold dear to my heart.
Most of all I remember Maw-Maw never missed church. She'd drive 45 miles one way every single service. Many times I would go with her on that long drive when Paw-Paw was away driving truck. I remember getting my permit and she'd say come go to church with me and I'll let you drive. I'd drive with my dad in the car and he'd be grabbing the handle and hitting the passenger brakes and drive with mom and she'd be all nervous and watching every second, I'd get in the car with Maw-Maw and she'd just sit back and look just like if anyone else was driving. one time I took a particularly sharp corner too fast and just about put us in the ditch all she did was grab her door and say ooo ooo and then smiled and said that corner is a little sharp huh?
I could write all night but I will save some for another time maybe.
I can say that I have only good memories of Maw-Maw. She was not overly affectionate in hugging or words but there was never any doubt that she loved and adored every one of her family members and would have given or done anything for any one of us weather she could afford it or not, she would have found a way to give us anything we needed or asked for and she was always there for us any time of day or night.
I love her dearly and will miss her more than anyone will ever know.
I have a peace knowing that she is now with my beloved Uncle Glenn (her brother) and they are just waiting for us to join them up in Heaven.