Thursday, February 28, 2008

the mamaw bag...


a dear friend of mine blogged today about how much she missed her daddy and how much she wished he were here to see her new baby girl... it made me really sad. then i remembered having the same feelings when my mamaw died. my katherine was only four. it was so important for me not to let katherine forget her; for she was "ours", mine and katherine's. she loved us more than life and made no bones about the fact!!!
every year of katherine's young life, she wanted to get the Christmas gift katherine wanted most. and i let her. she was more important to me and to katherine than the idea of santa claus (though santa always came through with more than his fair share).
our mamaw died the week after katherine started pre-school. it was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to either of us. we were lost without her; she was our rock!!!
as i said, it was very important to me to keep her a part of a very sad katherine's life. not long after she passed away, katherine and i were having a girl party (i was spending the night with her in her room). she fell asleep before i did. after a little while i noticed that she was giggling not very loudly at first; but, the next thing i knew she was laughing out loud in her sleep. i gently shook her and asked her if she were dreaming. she smiled without opening her eyes and nodded her head that she was dreaming. i asked her what was so funny to which she replied that she and will were watching a pig fly. it was so sweet, and i was so glad she was having a happy dream in the middle of her sadness.
the next day, i was in a local gift store and looked over to see an ornament; it was a pig with wings. i couldn't buy it fast enough!!! i had an idea. i went over to matt's (a local book/hallmark store) and bought a shiny, little, pale-pink, gift bag, gingham tissue paper, and a white ribbon to tie the handles together.
when katherine got home from school that afternoon the bag was sitting on her dresser with the flying pig inside. she opened it and grinned ear to ear. i told her that the bag was her mamaw bag and that the ornament was from her mamaw all the way from heaven.
"how did she know???" katherine asked wide eyed with wonder.
i kissed her on the cheek and whispered in her ear, "she just knows..."
the mamaw bag has become the keeper of many gifts since then.
one year katherine wanted the turtle beanie baby that had long since been retired. that was the number one thing on her CHristmas list... of course the thing she wanted most. i had not been able to find one anywhere; as far as that goes, the other eight or ten people i had looking couldn't find one either. so, a couple of weeks before CHristmas i told katherine santa had called and wanted to know what she'd like to have instead of the turtle as the elves had run out of turtle fabric and the special turtle beans that went inside.
katherine looked at me and told me to tell santa not to worry about it. mamaw would have one for her in her mamaw bag, God had everything in heaven!!!
i had no idea what i was going to do at that point. Christmas was drawing near; and there was no turtle to be found.
however, the week before CHristmas i had to go to vanderbuilt for some pre-op tests. when we left the hospital and were heading home i noticed there was a gas station with a tent set up in front of it with a big sign that read, "we have beanies". i asked john to stop (he rolled his eyes and assured me they wouldn't have one); lol, i told him to stop anyway!!!
omgosh, they had one turtle. i gladly paid several times what the thing was worth, walked smugly back to the van, told john how right i was to have had him stop, and was happily on my way home.
when Christmas morning arrived, sure enough katherine ran over to her dresser before going into the living room to see what santa had brought her. she grabbed the turtle out of the bag, turned around and looked at me with that big beautiful grin of hers (minus her two front teeth), and said, "see, i told you mamaw would send it from heaven!!!" she didn't even really care about what santa had brought her. she was happy as a clam at high-tide!!! she felt her GREAT-mamaw's unconditional love that poured from the little pink bag...
the little bag is still around along with a big one that's shiny lavender (for bigger things). she knows now... but, it's still a really special thing.
for Christmas this year, katherine and i had gone online looking for the perfect homecoming dress. the one she found was called a black ballerina gown. i told her it was too bad her size was no longer available (to the contrary, it was). she continued pouring over others but couldn't find one she liked nearly as much.
Christmas rolled around, and, sure enough, somehow mamaw found her a black ballerina gown in heaven. there it was in her mamaw bag, and there appeared the same grin and the look in her eyes told everyone in the room that mamaw still loved her even though she couldn't be her to tell her.

i love unconditional love!!!

i love sweet, giggly dreams...

i love, love, love my mamaw!!!

i love katherine, her beautiful smile, and her sometimes, pessimistic daddy!!!

thank you, GOD!!!


rhonda said...

and i love you for sharing mamaw stories.......i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my mamaw (my daddy's momma) and annaleigh and i spent the evening with her last night.....what special memories we can share and i thank you for the idea of keeping on living and sharing after they are gone....

purple11 said...

the thing is... as long as we remember and share, they're never really gone. ly2~d