Monday, May 31, 2010

A Tribute to My Mamow

Well, many of you know that I was in Georgia for a few days with my Mamow, who was in the hospital for 2 weeks.  I thought that I would share with you about this awesome woman and why I love her so much.

My Mamow’s name is Grace. She is the mother of my biological father (from whom I am estranged). For the longest time when I was a little girl, I thought the song “Amazing Grace” was about her.  I mean, I thought she was pretty great, and thought that everyone else should think so too. So, when we would go to church, which we always did, and I would hear them singing that song, I would just join in and sing loud ‘cause after all, it was MY Mamow we were singing about. I was the first born grandchild for her and we had and still have a very special bond.

Mamow is blind.  She has been blind since she was a little girl.  This has not stopped her from living life though.  She raised 4 children pretty much on her own.  She taught herself to play piano, guitar, and drums; and has played all of them in church.  She sings like an angel; she is where I got my signing talent from I am sure. She taught me my first song to sing in a talent show when I was 7.  It was something about climbing up sunshine mountain, where heavenly breezes blow.  I won that talent show. Mamow has always been my biggest fan.

When I was small we would take a walk to the downtown shops and go to a consignment shop called “Lollipop Lane” where I would surely talk Mamow into buying me some frock in there that I just couldn’t live without.  Then, we would walk to the corner Woolworth’s and buy hot roasted cashew nuts.  All the while, I would be leading her; telling her when to watch her step and when cars were coming.  I protected her. 

My friends never could understand why I was so excited to be spending time with my grandma.  They just didn’t understand how much fun we had when we were together.  We would lay in bed at night ‘til all hours telling goofball jokes and just laugh and laugh. 

I had a thing for soup and, not together!! That’s disgusting!  I loved eggs, but they had to have the yolk in them so that I could dunk my toast.  Well Mamow not being able to see would sometimes poke my yolk and bust it.  She would then put the egg on her plate and cook me another one.  We went through this until I had the egg I wanted and then she would eat the others.  We often joke that that is why she has high cholesterol.  My soup love was stronger.  If I didn’t have soup for lunch I didn’t think I had eaten.  My mom would come pick me up after she got off work and I would quickly tell her that Mamow had not fed me.  Mamow would say “well Buttons (her nickname that she still calls me), don’t you remember you had a grilled cheese?” Well, I didn’t have soup and to me I was starving! I loved to have Mamow’s hand made biscuits.  I would stand on the stool next to the counter beside her while she put all the ingredients into the bowl and then she would make a hole in the middle and pour the buttermilk in the hole, all the while mixing with her hands to “feel” for the perfect consistency.  Remember, she couldn’t see to measure out anything, it was all by feel. Then they would come out of the oven and I would smear butter on that biscuit and just know I was in Heaven.

My parents divorced when I was 8 and I felt my life had been ripped from me when I had to move away from Mamow. I can only imagine how she felt. We spent all waking hours together.  My mom had to work a lot, so it was Mamow who took care of me.  She practically raised me for 8 years.  She used to watch her “stories” in the afternoons.  At that point, she could still see shadows and would lay on her stomach on the floor in front of the big console TV.  I would go lay on her back and ultimately fall asleep.  Mamow would just lay in the floor until I woke up.  After my parents divorced, we did still see each other; she would come stay with me, my mom, and my stepdad (who later adopted me).  When I was 16 I went to live with Mamow for about 6  months.  Those were some of the best times ever.  I hated to leave her, but for her health reasons, I had to go.  During that time though, Mamow made sure I got back into church and she pushed me (literally) on to the platform to sing a song; the first song I had sang in a long time.  She told me God had given me a gift and I must, must, must use it for His glory.  So, I practiced and she would tell me “go back to that second verse Buttons and try to hit that note a little stronger” I hated that song by the time I sang it!! Ok, well  not really, but I was tired of it. :)

Yes, she was always my best friend and even as a teenager I knew I could trust her with anything.  When I would get in trouble (which was very often as a teen), I would call her collect to talk to her about it (there were no cell phones back then!)  She still tells people that she knew when I called in the middle of the day collect that I was in some type of trouble.  She was actually the first person I called when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter at 17.  I knew she would calm me and have some words of wisdom.  I was right.

Yes, she is an amazing woman.  This blog is just the tip of the iceberg.  I could write for hours telling you stories about her.  She is an amazing woman of God and loves Jesus.  I know many nights I made it home because she was on her knees praying for me. She believed in me when no one else did.  She encouraged me and never judged me; EVER. She loved me no matter how I messed up.  She always told me God has chosen me for a great work.  She was and is my biggest fan.  I know she would lay down her life for me.  I have never once doubted her love for me.

So you see, I have to be there for her.  If it means driving to Georgia, then I will.  If it means staying in the hospital all night with her and not sleeping because she bottoms out, then I will do it.  I will do whatever it takes to be there for her as she always was for me.  I will rub her back and hair to calm her while nurses are sticking her with needles.  I will read to her to help her relax.  Whatever needs to be done, I will do that because she always did that for me. She is an awesome woman of God. She was my strength when I was weak and a prayer warrior for me before I acknowledged I needed prayer.  She is a fighter; an over comer.  She is my Mamow; and I am HER biggest fan.


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