TONI ASKS, "WHO BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN YOU? HAVE YOU TOLD THEM OF THEIR INFLUENCE ON YOU?"
I really, really liked talking with my husband's Mamaw. When we moved to Kentucky from Texas, our children were 8, 6, and 2. We moved into a mobile home (aka trailer) next door to her house. My father-in-law lived (and lives) across the back field.
Of course, we had visited from Texas before we moved up here. The first time, the boys were 4 and 3 and our daughter was not yet born. Neither the children nor myself had met anyone from Chris's father's side of the family up until that point. When the boys and I walked up and knocked on the side door, Mamaw came and said "Howdy," through the screen. When she saw my husband, this little five-foot-nothing white-haired woman said, "I oughtta throw you across the yard," (for not bringing her great-grandsons up sooner). Everyone laughed. The bonding was instantaneous.
We'd be over at Mamaw's almost every day. She would still cook sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast in the early days of our sojourn here, and made 'dressing' a couple of times a week. They were two dishes that Chris had loved while he was growing up.
I don't know that I ever told Mamaw what I thought of her while she was still here (she passed last March), but I hope I tried to show it.
Eventually, we moved out of the trailer, and rented several places over the next six or seven years. We still visited, but less and less frequently, depending on how far away we lived at the time. Sometimes we would go to my father-in-law's house and "stop in" at Mamaw's either before or afterwards. I felt bad that these were kind-of 'blow through' visits.
So I made a point to sit in the kitchen and have a coffee with Mamaw and chat for a while. Coffee for Mamaw was a spoon of instant in a cup of water that had been heated up in the microwave. At the table, the cup would have a saucer and some of the coffee would be spooned or poured into the saucer (to cool it down, maybe?) before drinking or spooning the coffee out of the saucer. I tried to do it that way, I really did! In the end, I drank coffee the way in which I was used, and that was ok by Mamaw. We talked and laughed and talked some more.
I miss her.