Warning, sappy content ahead
When I was growing up, both my mom and dad worked through the weekdays. So like many kids in their younger years, I grew up around my grandparents more than my parents. My grandfather and grandmother- "pawpaw" and "mawmaw" — were both retired, and my grandmother preached most of her life.
Growing up, my mawmaw and pawpaw weren't the richest people, but they saw to it that my sister and I never went without anything, and most of the time we always got what we wanted. I remember every Friday afternoon mawmaw would pick us up from school and take us to the "beauty shop" to watch her get her hair done.
She'd always buy us candy while we were there, and then we would go eat at the Huddle House (mawmaw's favorite place) after if we behaved well. Then on the way back home, we would stop at the gas station and mawmaw would buy us any candy and sodas we wanted, then put it on pawpaw's credit bill, much to pawpaw's chagrin.
Thank you, mawmaw, for spoiling us so much, even when we didn't deserve it.
My pawpaw may have been a scrooge with his money, but he taught his grandchildren early that if we wanted something, we had to save every last nickel and dime for it. That man was the first one to teach me how to read and write, and do math. He would ask me to read the newspaper to him before I was five years old and worked with me every day to make sure I loved learning.
Thank you pawpaw for teaching me frugality, to appreciate learning and making me work for what I wanted before anyone else did.
Mawmaw was a devout Christian her entire life and could quote any line in one of the three King James Bibles that were in the house. Every morning, she would drag us out of bed, make us look snazzy, get us in that old burgundy station wagon and take us to church. Mawmaw always dressed brighter than a purple petunia and smelled sweeter than one, too. I learned a lot in Barrett's Chapel Baptist Church about right and wrong, and I'm grateful for it.
Thank you, mawmaw, for the Sunday morning memories and amazing Sunday evening dinners with peanut butter cake and pecan pies made from scratch.
When I say we lived out in the boonies, we lived WAY out in the boonies without any neighbors around for miles. Pawpaw would always be outside working on something, and he taught me early about nature and "the woods," as well as to appreciate everything God provided for us in the world.
Thank you, pawpaw, for bringing me down to the creek for the coolest, crispest water I'll never be able to drink again.
My mawmaw is the first person I recall letting me drink coffee at the ripe young age of 8 years old. Of course, being older she drank decaffeinated coffee so it was no big deal to brew enough for me; it wasn't what we were drinking, it's how we drank it.
I would sit in the cold kitchen (we had tiny heaters to heat the ancient house, so it took a while) every morning and fix my cup of coffee and listen to my mawmaw and pawpaw talk. We would drink from old wooden cups and bowls, and seeing my mawmaw and pawpaw pour their coffee into their bowls every morning is one of the richest, heartwarming memories of my childhood.
Thank you, mawmaw, for spoiling me with coffee and treating me like a grownup before I knew how to act like one.
I lost my grandmother in 2010 when I was 13 years old. For the years prior, she suffered from Alzheimer's, a debilitating disease that took away her ability to remember and function properly. My grandfather suffered in the same sense after we lost our grandmother, and he passed in 2013.
Neither of my grandparents could recognize who I was by the time this disease took over their minds, but I know if they could see me now, they would be proud. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease that I wish nobody's family would have to experience. Hopefully one day, there will be a cure so we can all have more memories with our families.