Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Letter to my Mama

The year 2015 has been a hard year, in my viewpoint--it was another year of healing in regard to our Mama's death in January 2014; and still so much to get thru in the grieving process; things we all three had to learn how to do without Mama at our side--we had leaned on her heavily since Daddy's death--and don't think we realized what a gap there would be without her at our beck and call. She was always there for each of us--no matter what we needed--if it was a pound cake, a making of fudge, date & nut bars; or come hither to help me do such and such--she was right there! If I wanted to go wandering around, she was always game to go! She supported each of her grandchildren in any and every endeavor they undertook; same with her girls; and even with her great grandchildren when possible! Mama was right there in every church function--serving as assistant in the kitchen on 'her' Wednesday Supper Nights!; Sunday School; Wednesday Night "Pie-Eating" as she referred to it; Worship Service every Sunday at 11:00 AM. Sunday School potlucks and parties; hosting them when she could; having or hosting lunch for her Sunday School teachers, particularly Mrs. Willene Johnston Whatley! Boy, those ladies loved gathering around each other's tables! And supping together! Sharing and swapping recipes; stories--and oh how we enjoyed reading her stories that she wrote down! Family Reunion times would come around, and she had so much fun being with her Beasley Clan! Though it was awfully hard to do, that first year after she'd passed away, I hosted the family reunion and we had a blast--in her memory! It was tough, but she would have wanted us all to gather--and we did! And the tables were laden with food! So much food! And memories were made! We thought of you lots, Mama--every day, I think of you! I think about you and Daddy, and how blessed I was that God chose you as my parents! What an awesome legacy you left behind, Mama and Daddy! Mama,this year, 2015, so many changes--and yet, things seemed to stay the same--the children were growing, and spreading their wings a bit more--your youngest grandchild has learned to drive, gotten his permit and now, license, and can go back and forth without his Mama, your youngest daughter. We divided up some household belongings, and I bet you'll be glad to know--that we did it without any squabbling! The firstborn daughter decided she would like y'all's first dining room suite--the Duncan Phyffe set--I was pleased about that--and the fact that she appreciated the American Fostoria pattern that we loved so much! I am hoping it will all bring her great joy; as she loves entertaining as much as the rest of us! It will indeed be a treat for her, and her friends, as they gather together to celebrate this and that! As I moved around and discovered 'old things' in the house, I would come across things that meant something to each of us, or the grandchildren--and I've 'saved' those, Mama, to give to the children at an appropriate time. I think you'd like that--you and Daddy, to know that they each wanted something of yours. Even your friends, Mama--wanted scraps of memories--like a recipe written in your handwriting; or some small memento of times spent with you. Uncle Mel, your sweet brother, misses you very much! We've stayed in touch with him, celebrating his birthday with him; visiting him at Easter, and other times when possible. He came to the family reunion, and enjoyed seeing so many celebrate with him: the meaning of FAMILY! Another event that occurred to cause sadness was when my best friend, Shirley Parker Taylor, passed away unexpectedly in the fall of this year-it was awful, just awful. Not a day goes by that I don't remember something we'd be doing this time last year, or some story we'd share; or I might be doing something and start to call her, and remember belatedly that she wasn't here to talk to. She stood by my side so many times in the past--always there with a smile or a comforting hand to let me know how much she cared! She once said to me, that with both her parents gone, how being close to mine helped her so much! I'm so glad you and Daddy were always welcoming to our friends and their children! Mama, this has turned into a letter to you--I've talked to you often--verbally--and in my heart--and I know you're there--because I feel your presence every time I talk to you. I don't have to visit the cemetery to talk with you, though I do it there too--sometimes, like when we were little girls, and would get sick, and just cry out 'Mama'--sometimes I do that still--and instantly I can almost feel your hand on my brow, smoothing back my curls and saying 'it's going to be all right, all right' and I know it's true. I sometimes feel renewed strength even when I'm feeling weak, Mama, and I know it's because of you. Christmas is just around the corner, Mama--in just a few days, it'll be your favorite time of year! The children and grandchildren will be home, Mama--and squeals of delight and laughter will fill the house again! I'm ready! No, not really--not ready materially, but ready emotionally for having some voices rather than just my own to fill the home you and Daddy made for us! As usual, I've still got boxing and wrapping to do tonight! And even last minute shopping details to take care of tomorrow and perhaps even on Christmas Eve! I really do hope that some of the kids will be able to go to the Christmas Eve Service at our church! That's another thing, Mama, I meant to share with you--though, I kind of think you already know! I've started being more active in church again, Mama. I haven't started attending Sunday School yet, but am going on Sunday mornings, and well, 'Grace' here, is singing in the choir again, and having lots of fun! And I remember what I was taught so well, if you sing on Sunday, you practice on the Wednesday before--if you don't practice, you don't sing! Well, Anita makes sure that we practice and sing! Other than when I was gone to NC and afterward, sick with a bad sinus infection, I've not missed any! We had a beautiful Christmas Cantata and program a few weeks ago--several times during the preparation of it all, I thought of you, Daddy and me sitting in the congregation listening to the choir. What precious memories for me! We went caroling last Wednesday evening--it was so special to be included in that special time--I remembered so well what it meant to you when 'your' church choir came caroling that last year for you! I cry every time I think about it. As a matter of fact, I still can't sing "There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in This Place" yet--because, well, Mama, remember how you and I sang it that last week that you were here? We were listening to your gospel CDs and one of them went off, and we started talking about Jesus--and how blessed we were to have him for a Heavenly Father--to look after us. I reminded you that you and Daddy had brought us up to focus on Him in our time of need--our time of joy--anytime--and how sweet it was that we'd had you both as parents, and that we'd be okay. And you mentioned that your Daddy, your sister Delana, had been visiting you just recently--and knowing that both of them were in Heaven, I knew then, that it wasn't going to be too long--so we just started singing that song, and you hummed along--it was indeed a very sweet, sweet spirit in that place--right there in your bedroom, Mama. Writing this letter to you today, Mama, has helped me, as it always does--I feel your sweet spirit right here with me, as I type these words, and reflect on this past year. I'm hoping that this Christmas will be one of our brightest and best in a while--and we can look forward to new beginnings and love in the New Year! Merry Christmas in Heaven, Mama and Daddy! Love you!