There's many gems here in the South. They are everywhere you look. You find them by the handful if you have a keen eye. The beaches and plains in good ol' Carolina are two on the list. Yet, there are more hidden gems than you can count. One of those hidden gems just so happens to be my Southernfied Grandma. We call her "Memaw". Pronounced 'Mee-Maaw'. It's a southern thing, y'all.
Now I'll tell you a little bit about my Memaw. She's the most beautiful, graceful, selfless woman I have ever met. She's classy and sassy. That's where we get it from. I'm blessed to have her as my Memaw. She's a devout Christian, Facebook-thieving, caregiver, scarf-wearing, domesticated Queen of her throne. She makes being a Grandma a way of life. She has many grandchildren and one (soon to be two) great grandchildren. She loves all of us equally but differently. Although, I always joke that I'm the favorite and that she loves me more. I even went savage on my cousin on Facebook about it too. This was after Memaw basically hijacked Jessica's Facebook from her as well.
Jessica (said cousin): "Memaw says she loves all of us equally."
Me (savage): "She's just telling y'all that to make y'all feel better."
Also, if Memaw makes us all burgers and no one shows...someone's gettin' hurt.
I remember when we were all children she would take us to church which was in her backyard. We'd hear family members preach and sing. It was a beautiful thing. As a child I didn't really pay much attention to the word of Him than I was paying attention to the adults. They were really into it. I now know why. It feels good to have Him as a savior. I have my Memaw to thank for that. Leading you to the path of grace and righteousness is one of her many specialties.
Let me tell you a secret about Memaw's love. It's given freely with no reservations. There is not a bad bone in this woman's body. She doesn't care what your race, gender, creed or faith is. She loves everyone. You meet her once, you have a friend for life. I aspire to be like Memaw when I'm her age. I aspire to love freely with my heart wide open. I aspire to pick myself up with grace and dignity even when people are mean because it says more about them than you, right? I aspire to obtain such beauty and honesty that she has and to be so steadfast and strong in her faith. In any trial of adversity, she's the one I'd want in my corner.
This beautiful woman is the glue that holds our family together. She's always so thankful for anything that you do for her. She gets tickled pink at the littlest things and that makes you want to do more for her. Anything to see her smile or laugh is worth it. I love our family dinners in which we always pray before our meal. One year Memaw was talking and said that she may not be here next year. I, jokingly, asked her where she was going. Her only reply was "Home." Anyone that knows Memaw knows that 'home' is with Him.
I went home and cried that night. Why? Because I just cannot imagine a life without Memaw in it. I cannot imagine walking into her house and not seeing her sitting in her chair with a kind word and a beautiful smile. I can't imagine not getting a Christmas card with her signature "Love in Jesus for there is no greater love" written on it. I can't imagine not getting a text during the middle of my work day with a photo she found of me as a baby. I can't imagine who else would say our family dinner prayers. Who would I pop in on and surprise when I'm on that side of town? Who else would give me a kind encouraging word from the scripture when I'm going through a rough time? Who else would stop people from letting cuss words slip in front of Ethel? That is no easy feat.
As I realized that one day this beautiful woman will no longer be here, I also caught myself thinking 'what would she do?' So, WWMD? What would Memaw do? Memaw would say a prayer, be thankful and blessed for all the time we were given together. She would remember memories with laughter and tears.
So, for now, I'll be thankful and blessed that this beautiful woman is still here and plays a huge role in my life, and in the lives of so many others. I'll be thankful that she's my Memaw and continue to seek her help in my trials and tribulations. I'll continue to surprise her and do the little things because she deserves them. At some point, we'll all be called 'home'. Until then, enjoy the little southern gems in your lives.