My grandmother passed away a couple of days ago. We had her funeral yesterday. There was something oddly beautiful about starting the new year off with a funeral. I can think of no better way to start 2017 (and my thirties, what?) than by reflecting on the life she lived and the legacy she leaves behind.
For the last several weeks the idea of enjoying my people better has been on my heart as something I want to do more this year. Just simply enjoy them. It’s sounds so easy but it’s proven hard for me to do on a daily basis in this season of life. And so it was almost like a little wink from above when I was asked to say something at the funeral yesterday and that be theme of my grandmother’s life. She enjoyed others well.
So I thought I’d just share what I said yesterday mainly for myself but also in case anyone else needs a reminder or encouragement or permission to enjoy your people, your season, your current life.
Happy New Year, friends. May we enjoy each other well this year.
When I think about Memaw I think most about how she was kind, classy, graceful, warm and caring. I also think of deviled eggs and regular Cheerios with tons and tons of sugar sprinkled on top. I think about how she was joyful and genuinely fun to be around. She loved being around family and friends and I think people truly loved being around her too.
My sister Caitlyn who couldn’t be here today said, “When I think of Memaw, I think of someone with a whole lot of class. Regardless of where we were going or what we were doing, she was always dressed to the nines and her lipstick ready to be reapplied. Whether we were going to lunch at the Picnic, or swimming at the country club, she always looked her best. Because of the level of elegance and grace I witnessed from her, I try to embody the way she held herself around people. While Logan and I are saddened that she will not get to meet her great-granddaughter, we know that she will be looking down on her from above.”
I was thinking about some of my favorite Memaw memories and hearing some of my sisters and cousins favorite memories, and I think if I could sum them all up it would be that she enjoyed us. And as a kid isn’t that the best thing? To simply be enjoyed as we are. It sounds so simple, but now that I have kids of my own and I see in their eyes the desire to simply be enjoyed I think that’s the greatest gift she could have ever given us. She humored us and did things we wanted to do and laughed with us. She showed us love in little ways that have lasted forever.
Whether it was paying us actual money to give her horrible back massages or letting us drive her car around the parking lot or going swimming with us but heaven forbid we get her freshly permed hair wet or letting us put on her lipstick or taking us on special shopping trips and lunch outings. She enjoyed us. She loved spending time with us. And we knew it.
I even had the privilege of watching her enjoy my children, her great grandchildren. I can so clearly picture her rolling cars back and forth with our oldest son Wyatt, and I can hear him laugh when he would look at her and she would make funny faces.
To be enjoyed. What a gift. To be the one who enjoyed others, what a legacy. And if I can be remembered that way I will know I did something right.
Memaw, you were loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Party hard in Heaven. 💜