Sweet Memories

I have so many memories of living with and spending time with my grandparents. The love they gave me was more than what I was missing from my parents. They were the only stable thing I had in my life and being with them I felt safer than being anywhere else. They were like having a warm blanket around me protecting me from the cold, bitter world. They taught me early on about respecting my elders, saying yes ma’am and no sir, being polite, having a kind heart but most of all they taught me about God, his sacrifice for our sins and his unfailing love, grace and forgiveness.

To say my grandparents spoiled me is an understatement. At the same time, they were taking care of me and made sure I had everything I needed. Clothes, food, a roof over my head and plenty of love. If I cried, Pawpaw would picked me up and rock me in the rocking chair. Mawmaw was always trying to teach me how to do things around the house and would let me help when she baked pies, cakes, candies and even let me help cook. I can still smell that wonderful smell of cookies, pies and cakes baking. Pawpaw had me out in his big shop showing me how to use a wood lathe, drills, how to work on cars and how to play pool. My great grandmother (Granny), my grandfather’s mother lived next door just up a slight hill from the house where I would make a trek everyday to go see her. The local Baptist church that we attended was just across the road up a steep hill with lots of red dirt and rocks.

I remember always giving my grandparents a run for their money. I was such a tomboy and would get into anything and everything. We had chickens, ducks, plum trees, plenty of wild honeysuckle that smelled so sweet in summer and lots of wild blackberries and a huge garden. Mawmaw would take me out to the chicken coop and let me help collect fresh eggs that were still warm. We had a huge garden! Fresh corn, carrots, onions, tomatoes, peppers, purple hull peas, potatoes, watermelon, just to name a few things. I remember Mawmaw would pick a jalapeno off the stalk and eat it right there look at me and smile. She would pull a chair up to the counter, put me up on it and let me help make cakes and pies. I still have her electric Sunbeam mixer we used to mix up the ingredients and use it today when I bake. Mawmaw always had lots of warm hugs for me even after I pulled some of the stunts I pulled like taking crayons and drawing on the bottom of her coffee table, climbing that phone pole behind the house and watching from the top of that pole as they frantically searched for me. I laughed and after a few minutes they I called down “I’m up here”. Needless to say, they were less than happy with me for climbing that pole, especially after they had told me multiple times to stay off of it. That’s just one of the many memories I have.

Going through therapy, my therapist said for all intense purposes my grandparents were my parents and that’s how I see it now. They provided a safe, loving home even if it was just for 5 years. They still influenced me over the years and I thank God for their presence in my early life.

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