Remembering my Mamaw Ann

Missing my Mamaw today. Its been one year since she went to be with Jesus... oh how I miss her!

Here is what I shared about her at her funeral:
I am honored to be standing here with the opportunity to celebrate the life of a grandmother, mother, wife, sister, and friend. It is really difficult to put into words how much Mamaw has meant to me in the last 31 years but I hope to give you a glimpse of the legacy she has left me and our family. My earliest memories of her go back to my childhood when all the grandkids would spend the night with her. She would make a pallet out of cushions in her room for all of us and then we would wake up to her wonderful homemade biscuits and gravy. We would have contests to see who could eat the most and if I recall Alan won most of those. I am kidding, but Alan did like to remind me often that during those sleepovers, I would always convince Mamaw that I couldn’t go to sleep without her rubbing my back. And yes I do realize I was a bit spoiled. But let me backup to her cooking again. Everything she made was delicious and I loved sitting on her counter to “help” her. Usually the only helping I did was licking the batter off the spoon. Chocolate pies and cakes, chicken and noodles, and oh those biscuits that I know a lot of you all remember as well! Her house truly was the place where our family met, and even more special to me, it was where cousins became best friends. She loved all of her grandchildren so very much. At every birthday party, graduation, sports events, or anything we did for that matter. She made each of us quilts from the colleges we graduated from and she just loved to give us anything she could. Giving giving giving, always wanting to give us something. I never went to her house without walking out with something, and even until the last days of her life. I would go in asking how she was doing and she would immediately divert the question and say, “Go in there and get those Disney pens I have for the boys. I want to make sure they remember me.” To which I responded, Mamaw you don’t have to give us anything else, you have already given enough! And of course we will remember you. Not for the things that you’ve given us but the constant love and support you gave. She was always there.And sometimes even supporting me when no one else was. I’ll never forget when I had just had Carter and Griffin was two and we found out I needed to pack my whole house in 10 days and move. I freaked out a bit to say the least. But as soon as I called Mamaw, she could hear it in my voice and without me even asking she says, “We will be there tomorrow!” So here was Mamaw and Frank the next day taking care of my boys so I could pack. They would bring their camper and stay at the end of our road and the boys thought it was so cool that their house could drive! Every morning they would go and have breakfast in the RV, poptarts of course! Oh the many places those two went in their RV. I am SO thankful for all of the travels that she got to have. We always would have Thanksgiving at her house and combine Christmas then too because we knew that they would be flying south for winter and not returning until Spring. All 50 states they saw, and what an adventure I know that was! Some of you may not know that Mamaw and Grandpa Frank met line dancing. Boy did she love to line dance. I remember taking a social dance class in college and having an assignment to go to a community dance in Knoxville. Well when all of my classmates saw Mamaw and Frank there they said, “Wow. Your grandmother is here? That’s so cool!” Matching outfits and dressed to the 9’s, they shared many dances together and I loved tagging along with her! Cool and spunky are both words I would use to describe her personality. I am sure each of you have memories of her spunk too. It made me laugh everytime I would call her she would answer and say hello. Then I would usually say HEY MAMAW! To which she would reply WHAT! That same spunk stuck with her even when she got the news that she had stage 4 cancer and there was nothing they could do. She handled it with such poise and the nurses kept commenting on her stoic nature. Most people would not take that news head on like she did. “Well its going to be my time to go soon and I am sorry.” Even in that moment she wasn’t concerned with herself and how sick she was, she was concerned with her family, those that she would have to leave behind. She accepted that this was God’s plan for her. She did make sure to add her spunk back in though and add, “Well im still going to be around for another 6months to a year. You aren’t getting rid of me yet!” These last two months have been very difficult for her family to watch and at the same time we treasure the time we were able to spend with her. She really enjoyed all of the visitors that she had. I loved watching her with my children, still making memories by cooking chessbars and flapjacks, still smiling because she was so happy to have them around. She told the nurses several times, “Thanksgiving we had 45 people here in this house!” She was so thankful to have the whole family together again. Sharing stories, old pictures, laughing and crying together. None of us were ready for her to go and yet seeing her in so much pain we knew that she was ready. The last time I called and asked her how she was doing she said, “Terrible!” She always had a way of never beating around the bush. 2 days late I shared the news with my boys, Griffin and Carter who are 3 and 5. “Ive got good news! Mamaw was now with Jesus in Heaven and in no more pain! They paused for a moment as to try and comprehend what that meant and then Carter said, “Wow, Mommy! I wonder what its like in Heaven!” Right then in that moment when I was the saddest that I have ever been in my life and could not stop my tears from coming, my son quickly reminded me of what a celebrating that day was! This scripture came to mind: And God Himself will be with them and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, crying or pain.” I replied to Carter, “Buddy, there is no doubt that Mamaw is finding out all about heaven right now. I am sure she asked for the grand tour!”
I read this quote on Christmas eve out of a book she had while she was resting. “Our Christian hope is that we are going to live with Christ in a new earth where life is what it was always meant to be.” As I sat there holding her hand, and difficultly watched her body approaching her forever home I was made more fully aware than ever before the gift we have in Jesus. He came to deliver us from sin and death. To provide a way for us to live with Him for eternity and in a place where life is about what it was always meant to be. Being with God, enjoying God and being enjoyed by Him. He never intended for their to be death and sadness like we are experiencing right now. But thankfully, in His amazing love and grace He provided a way for us even when we continually disobey Him. We make life about everything but Him. And truly in the end, Mamaw knew it was all about Him. Its all about Jesus. He takes this sting of death away and we must remind ourselves that there is no hope without Him. I know each of you knew my grandmother’s giving heart. And I do believe that one of the last things she can give us is the reminder that nothing else matters. She couldn’t take her ‘things” with her. Her travels around the world, although fun, didn’t really matter in the end. What matters is that she loved Jesus. She put her faith in Him and now she is with Him for all of eternity. Can you imagine what its like? The bible says, “And there the multitudes were sitting around the throne singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty! Who was and is and is to come!” Mamaw is face to face with Jesus. Shes in no more pain, shes walking again and she is where she was always intended to be. I am so thankful for the legacy she left me. Always give to others, travel and see new things, don’t be afraid to try new things. Love and supporting your family is the greatest gift you can give them. And most of all to love Jesus. She has set the standard high for being a grandmother and I can only hope that one day I will have a granddaughter and have the relationship with her that mamaw and I had. I love you Mamaw! I know you are smiling down on me now and I hope I made you proud J

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