Today, my Mawmaw would have been 90 years old. Many of you may know Mawmaw through my Snapchat videos or maybe her Chicken Soup Recipe. Maybe you know her Biscuits & Gravy or maybe even the posts over the summer, when we lost her. Hello Gorgeous has paid tribute to the woman who helped shaped who I am today, from the very beginning.
There are so many stories I could share and so many memories to reflect on. But that little scrappy thing, who was barely 5′ tall, did so much more than give us a million good laughs. She loved her family. And she loved us hard.
In light of a very sad day for my family (Mawmaw’s first birthday in Heaven), I wanted to share a few of the life lessons she taught me in the precious years we had with her here on earth.
- Good Food. There were certain things you could count on always being at Mawmaw’s house: Coke, Little Debbie’s, coffee and something she had whipped up either on the stove or in the fridge. She could make the best meal of your life in little to no time, with ingredients you’d never even think to put together. If you know our family, then you know about her famous “Slop.” Who knows how she came up with it, but it’s just about the best comfort food you’ll ever have.
- How to care for others. Mawmaw worked at the hospital for years, so she called herself “Nurse Good-body.” She was who you’d call at the first sign of any symptom, and she’d tell you exactly what to do to get better. If she didn’t know the answer, she’d pull out her medical dictionary and find out. If you were sick or were recovering from surgery, it was off to Mawmaw’s house you went. She’d wait on you hand and foot until you were well. She took better care of you than anyone else on this planet.
- Forgiveness. She could get angrier than anyone I know. Honestly, she was the one person you didn’t want mad at you. But she’d always forgive. She’d decide when she wasn’t mad anymore, and that was it, it was behind her. But that forgiveness usually didn’t come till after she made you break a switch outside to get whipped with, lol!
- Love for Old Hollywood. I love Old Hollywood so much more than your average millennial. I grew up watching TCM with her and now have an appreciation for the Golden Era. There was such an innocence to that period in entertainment. The movies were so clean, so pure, and some of the most inspirational work to this day. I watched so many classics with her and learned all about her favorite films and stars. But, we also loved ourselves some Golden Girls.?
- To make my bed everyday. Mawmaw liked a clean house. She never wanted anything in her trash cans and always wanted the bathroom sinks to be sparkling clean (i.e. you better dry that sink out after you get done washing your hands!) She knew how to make a gorgeous bed and always had hers looking immaculate. Unless she was in her bed, it was always made, always looking like a million bucks.
- Good taste. Mawmaw had the very best taste in everything. From her gorgeous bedding to her taste in clothes, she knew what she liked and wouldn’t buy less than the best.
- …But smart with money. Yes, she had great taste (Hello! Her perfume of choice was Chanel N°5…) but she always stayed in her lane. She was smart with her money, and had a nest egg put away for emergencies. She always taught me that if I couldn’t afford something, then I didn’t need to buy it. She taught me to save up for the things I really wanted, instead of buying something much cheaper and wasting my money. She taught me patience.
- Hard work pays off. She was widowed at a young age and I never even knew my grandpa. Mawmaw worked her whole life until my step grandpa swept her off her feet and made her quit her job in medical records. But even then, she went to work taking care of him. She worked hard and took pride in the things she had.
- Take care of your man. After I got married and decided to be a housewife, she would always ask me a series of questions when I would call her… Are you taking good care of Matt? Are you cooking him some good food? That was her way of reminding me that it was now my job to look after Matt, and I better do a good job at it… Or she’d chase me down and whip my butt.
- When to take a nap. She was the queen of siestas. If I would come to her house and looked tired, she’d send me straight to my bedroom with a blanket, telling me to go take a nap. She understood the value of rest.
- Coffee cures everything. Have a headache? Drink a cup of coffee. Need to poop? Drink coffee. Had a bad day? Coffee it is. Her answer to almost every problem in life was a cop of joe. I think she was the original Gilmore Girl, lol!
- Always keep your gas tank full. I never understood why having a tank full of gas was so important until I ran out of gas with my girlfriend, Heather, in a really bad part of town. Needless to say, I never let my tank get below 1/4 full.
- A sweet tooth is a real thing. She had one heck of a sweet tooth. She passed it down to my mom, who passed it down to me. I love Coca Cola because of her. She wanted an ice cream cone daily from Dairy Queen and I would happily go get it for her. I’d give anything to have a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate with her right now. PS- She was the queen of fudge. No one’s fudge beats Mawmaw’s.
- How to be a flirt. The world’s biggest flirt award would easily have gone to her. She pinched so many booties that I couldn’t even begin to guess a number for you. She knew how to turn on the charm with anyone.
- How to make friends with anyone. She never met a stranger. Ever. She loved anyone and everyone. I grew up believing that we’re all God’s children and we all deserve to be loved because that’s how she taught me. And that’s how she lived her life.
- How to dance. I have never met anyone who loved dancing more than her. She taught me how to jitterbug in high school. She didn’t need music or a reason to get up and “cut a rug.” She would make her own music and dance in the hallways of the nursing home. She spent her years in New Orleans dancing in the streets of the French Quarter. She loved any and every reason to get and just move.
- A love for music. She loved music just as much as she loved to dance. She especially loved songs for the 40s and 50s. I now sing things like, “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Home again, home again, jiggity jog,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” because of her. I can’t get in the car and not hear “Buckle up for safety, Buckle Up!” most days.
These life lessons are just the tip of the iceberg. I could sit here and type for hours about all the things she taught our family through the years. Mostly, she taught us how to love. She showed us what it was to love fiercely. She would have done anything for her family and was so proud of each and every one of us.
I hope that you’ve been blessed with a grandma like this in your life. There is no bond like that of a granddaughter and a grandmother. There’s just this love and this understanding that goes beyond anything else on this planet. She was my last grandparent and I’m so thankful for the wonderful years we had with her.
Please leave a comment below and share a special story about you and your grandma. I’d love the extra reason to smile on this bittersweet day.
Happy 90th Birthday Mawmaw. I know you’re doing your birthday dance in Heaven.