Moments in Time

I began to reflect upon different people and moments that had caused me to grow into the woman I have become today after recieving a package from my mother.  In this package, wrapped in old paper, was a simple green ceremic hen.  This hen, this beautiful hen, was the same hen that I saw my entire life sitting in the center of my Mimi's kitchen table filled with toothpicks.  My mind imediately raced back to those childhood days, the simplicity of life, the security of family, and the love of my Mimi.

I don't recall my age, infact, I was probably too young to even be aware of what age was at this time. I remember driving to my Aunt "Tootsie's" house with my Mimi. Aunt Toots was one of Mimi's eight siblings, and she and my Uncle Bill had one daughter, Brenda. My Mimi loved her niece. Brenda was now grown, married, and the proud mother of three boys, but Brenda's body had betrayed her. As her muscles gave way to her horrible disease. I sat on the edge of her bed and watched as she shook violently, and Mimi, ever so patiently, lifted the spoon to her mouth and fed her. I will never forget the look of love I saw in my Grandmother's eyes. That moment in time is forever embeded into my memory.  In that moment, my Mimi taught me true compassion and love.

My life is filled with lessons I learned from Mimi.  My parents divorced at a early age, and my Grandparents were a large part of our upbringing.  My Mimi and Pap Pap grew up in the depression.  I loved hearing her tell me stories of her family and my Pap in his younger days.  My Mimi's father was shot and killed by her brother in a hunting accident.  My Great Grandmother was a widow with 9 children during the depression.  Mimi would sit me up at the kitchen table as she fried green tomatoes for lunch and tell about the times her mom would make the same sandwiches for her and her siblings.  The oldest was able to have a whole sandwich, but the younger would have to split one.  She would go back to those times with such love and admiration of her own mother.  She would tell how my Uncle Pete was the smallest, so when their basement would flood, they would put him in a old metal wash bucket and he would row over to the cabinets where they kept all the food they had canned from their "victory" garden and row it back over to my Grandmaw to prepare humble meals. She grew up in  hard times, and Mimi wore those times on her aging smile.  Amazingly she had no bitterness.  I never once heard or saw her speak a word other than thankfulness for all God had done for them.  My Mimi taught me how to be thankful even in hard times.

My mother worked long hours to support us, so much of my time was with Mimi.  At the age of 6, she taught me how to crochet.  One precious possesion of mine is Mimi's crocheting needles.  They are my still in Her j.c. Penny's box complete with a american flag sticker and the word "Mom," which was the only name I ever heard my Pap Pap call her.  She would take my little chubby fingers and wrap the yarn just right around my pinkie, "Make sure you count Toot."   I would loose count and she take the yarn, unravel my chain that I worked so hard at, and say, "If the bottom row isn't right, eventually nothing will be right."  My Mimi taught me the importance of a firm foundation. 

I would watch my Mimi prepare my Pap Pap's lunch every day.  Infact, it was one of the highlights of my day.  I truly enjoyed being with them.  I loved how Pap would come into the kitchen and the looks on their faces told the deepest love story I ever saw.  She didn't toss him a t.v. dinner in, my Mimi baked handmade bread just to make him tomatoe sandwiches that she picked from her garden.  What an example of love.  In their old age, they built townhouses, by hand.  I watched them side by side up on those roofs hammering nails day after day.  These were the days before cell phones, beepers, and onstar.  When they needed to find each other, my Mimi would come out on the deck of those townhouses and all through the neighborhood you would hear the most precious sound of an old Indian Love Call, "When I'm calling you........"  And in the distance you would hear my Pap's voice echoing back to her, "I will answer too   "  I never heard my Mimi disrespect my Pap in any way or form.  I never heard them fight, not once. My Mimi taught me what a Proverbs 31 woman is.  She was a walking, living epistle.  She was a virtuous woman.

I wittnessed this love as my Mimi headed to her final days here on earth.  I watched as the love that was once expressed with Mimi caring for Pap, was repaid with the highest price as Pap prepared Mimi to meet her Lord and Savior.  And when she passed, he was with her. We all sat with heavy hearts during her services and listened as my Pap Pap walked up to the piano that sat beside her casket, and he played one last song for her, His Eye is on the Sparrow.  I am so blessed to have had such an example of love in my life.   My mom gave me an old clutch bag my Mimi carried up until her death.  I never understood why she carried it.  She no longer was able to carry money, credit cards, or a drivers liscense, but she would repeatidly ask, "Where's my purse?"   What I later found, was the reason she carried this old purse.  What was in it was more precious than any amount of money, and credit card, and id.  Tucked safely away was two solemn pictures, one read, "Dad" and one read, "Mom."

The lessons I have taken through life from my Mimi are to numerous for me to count. The Unicef Box that sat on the kitchen table that all of Mimi's change went into that taught me the importance of giving. The first time I was allowed to order my own church envelopes, and the excitement I felt to be able to give to God, I learned the importance of tithes and offerings. The Meals on Wheels that Mimi and I would load in the car and deliver, baking apple dumplings for the church fundraisers, collecting fresh evergreens off the forest's floor to decorate the church every Christmas, all these things taught me how to serve. Watching my Granparents, who never had one lesson, Mimi on piano and Pap on Organ, playing hymns as they sang praises to God. They taught me how to worship.

I eventually grew up, and Mimi, yes Mimi, grew older.  But my need for her guidance never left.  I married, had children, and eventually began to struggle with severe anxiety attacks.  I was so embarrassed about what I was going through, but I knew if there was one person who would understand, it was my Mimi.  These words truly began my most treasured relationship I have, my relationship with God.  She said, "Toot, every time you feel afraid and anxiety comes, pick up the Bible and start to read.  And when you are done, I want you to pray.  Do not ask God for anything, but thank Him for all He has done for you."  Mimi confided in me that she too had struggled with anxiety and had to learn to turn to God.  What no one yet realized is Mimi's memory was beginning to fade and Mimi herself was facing her fears.  The fears of forgetting.  To this day, I had never shared the entirety of this conversation.  I hold it so dear in my heart. 

As time passed, Mimi's memories got harder and harder for her to recall.  I would give anything to hear her say, "I wrote myself a note to remember to call you, but I didn't write why.  Do you know why I may have called?"  I couldn't bare to hear the fear and confusion in her voice, so I'd reply, "Well Mimi how bout I start guessing and you tell me if I get it right!"  We would both start giggling, and for a moment, a moment in time, all was well again. 

These are my treasured memories, all the moments in time that I wished would have lasted just a little while longer.  But today I just wanted to take the time to honor her, to honor who she was and will always be to me.  I pray that one day I can even be half the example of a true Mighty Woman of God that she was to me.

I miss you Mimi..........................


  1. Such precious memories. It was a delight to have a peek into them...

  2. Oh this story is making me cry! What an amazing tribute to a beautiful woman of God.

    I miss my grandmothers too.


  3. I enjoyed every word of this wonderful tribute to your grandmother. The 'Indian Love Call' brought back memories from my childhood :). Sounds like she expressed wonderful wisdom, strength and character in every situation of life.


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