THE LEGACY OUR GRANDMOTHER LEFT....YOU ARE MY BLOOD
This is a post I wrote on one of our family webpages.
One of our "little" cousins and a "big" cousin wrote a post that has plaqued me since I read it. I had the blessed opportunity to have 6 uninterrupted hours with Maw before she took ill. In the 52 years that she was my grandmother, on that day is when I knew what kind of woman she really was. First of all, for all you who didn't have the time with her...I never....ever heard her speak badly about anyone, repeat rumors or judge anyone. Never. She loved each member of her family, totally and unconditionally. Maw worked hard, but I never knew how hard, until that day. Pap went to look for work during the depression and Maw was left at home with many small children. The food ran out and Maw said she was standing at her kitchen window, praying for food. A few minutes later, a wild boar was in the yard. She said to me, "you can believe it, or not." Anyone that knew Maw, believed it. After Maw sent up a prayer of thanks, she went outside, killed the boar, cut it up, salted it down and hung it in the smokehouse. She said she felt like a millionaire that day. When she told me the story, she cried when she said " I knew I could feed my children." Most of us know that Maw didn't spend too much time crying. If there was a problem, she got up and took care of it. Mom told me that Maw and Pap bought their seeds in feedsacks and they were a pretty, printed material. When the bag was empty, Maw would make clothes for the kids. Mom said she'd make them a new dress with a "cap" to match. Maw planted a garden to feed them all, harvested and canned everything she could. Like Ocie has told you, she washed clothes in a huge pot of hot water, outside. When we were small, there would be a bucket of water on the sink with a dipper in it. That was the best water I've ever tasted. I remember her treadle sewing machine. Maw would make that thing hum, as she worked. She had her daytime chores and her night time chores. Maw did not sit her days away. I used to wonder if she really slept when she went to bed. It was hard to imagine her being still for so long. Some of us have been close to this family all of our lives, some couldn't because of distance and others are "coming home." I have sent up thanks for Ocie starting this page. When I read, I realize so many of us were looking for "identity", a belonging, as Cousin David said. We can walk this life, assured of an identity. I find myself being drawn to the things that Maw did, more and more. I like the homemade, the things you do that your heart leads you to. If Maw needed something, she made it if that was the only way. She quilted, sewed her children's clothes, planted and grew their food, carried water, canned and made biscuits and gravy every morning of her life. She worked so hard, but when she touched you on the face, her hands felt like an angel's hands. I planted white morning glories because my mother told me they were Maw's favorite flower, and no matter where they lived, she'd plant those flowers. If Maw saw a snake in the yard she'd kill it with a hoe. If it crawled into a pile of rocks, she'd move the pile to get to the snake so her children would not be hurt. The world we are in, now, is wrought with financial hardships, high prices, maybe losing a home, a loved one, a job. I think we have to realize that it is simply the way it is and just do the best we can. God will provide. But, now we all have another bit of strength to add to the mix... We came from strength. Their children passed that strength to us. We came from good hearts. We came from people who worshipped and lived for God. We came from people who surrvived and held together. We came from people who loved you unconditionally. We came from a legacy that is rightfully ours. Marisa reminded us of that. She reminded and brought to us the message our grandmother left to us, all of us. YOU ARE MY BLOOD.