Friday, December 31, 2010

Mary D(ee)

Mary and Hoyt-young and in love

I was Mary's favorite granddaughter. And before you go replacing "favorite" with "only", just know that it doesn't matter to me.
When you visualize the word grandmother, you more than likely picture an old woman with white hair, a low bun, reading glasses, sensible shoes, and matronly clothes.
That was not Mimi.
Mimi at our wedding

Now I'm sure that her siblings could tell you lots of stories about her antics as a child. My mom and her brother and sister could entertain you with stories of her parenting style.

I only knew her as Mimi.
Independent, witty, stylish, opinionated, graceful, loving, intelligent, and thoughtful.

Mary was only 43 years old when she rushed to the hospital to welcome her first grandchild. I will be that same age in just over five short years, and my only child will merely be eight years old, so I can hardly imagine grandmotherhood.

At that point in her life, she decided to be called Mimi by her future grandchildren. After all, it could easily be mistaken for a name when we were out together. I don't blame her, especially since we've already established that she didn't fit the "grandmother" type cast.
The title, Mimi, fit her perfectly.

Mimi was someone that I always relished spending time with.

As kids, we could play with objects that she had collected from all over the world. Explore her backyard and house. Swim in the hot tub and eat all of the hot dogs we wanted afterward.

She sent postcards from far-away places and brought back cool souvenirs.

She was the grandmother that didn't knit me socks or scarves when I was a teenager, but instead let me pick out my own gift while we were on our annual Black Friday shopping trip. She'd always wink and say, "Now, act surprised when you open this on Christmas, okay?"

She was the grandmother who attended recitals, graduations, parties, and special events.

And she always looked fabulous doing it.

I remember the year that I got my first teaching job, I invited her to Grandparents Day at the school. I thought my kids would get a kick out of my grandmother being there. She drove from Atlanta to Cartersville to be there. She was so proud of me. She mingled with the other grandparents, ate lunch with me, and then headed back home. Back in the classroom after the events, one of my students approached me. He quietly said, "My grandfather likes your grandmother. He thinks she's pretty."
I thought to myself, "Of course he does. Everyone loves Mimi."

Mimi holding Annika

I will miss her hugs, her witty remarks, her gold shoes, her green beans, her beauty mark, her rum cake, her cards, and her voice, among so many other things.

I am eternally grateful to God that she only had to experience being old for a very brief time.
I love you Mimi.


Girlfrog said...

Ashley- What a blessing she was to you and all that surrounded her. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know she will be dearly missed. Love you. Anna

Anonymous said...

Ashley- Your grandmother was a very special person and she will be missed by many. You and your family will be in my prayers. Love, Tara

Anonymous said...

Ashley, you did a great job in your tribute to Mimi! She was a very wonderful person and she will be greatly missed! I love all of you, and you've become more family for me to love! I'll keep you in my prayers that God will give you laughter to remember the good times! love Shirley Robertson