Mee Maw Memories
Christmas was her favorite holiday. She loved decorating her house and buying gifts for our family. Mee Maw loved Christmas so much that she drank her morning coffee out of a Christmas tree mug year-round. To honor my Mee Maw daily, I do the same, and it is one of the reasons that I go "Christmas crazy" in my own home during the season.
I wrote this piece as a tribute to my Mee Maw after she passed away in 2007. My sister and I read part of it at her memorial service. I am posting it on my blog as a "Happy 100th Birthday!" tribute to one of the most amazing women I will ever know...
Mee Maw memories permeate my childhood: spending Friday nights with her and Paw Paw while Mom went to football games, learning how to play solitaire at the kitchen table, reading books while sitting in her lap. Mee Maw stands at the root of most of my happiness.
Mee Maw planted the seed for my coffee addiction. When my sister Katy and I spent the night with her, we got to drink “kid coffee”—mostly milk and sugar with just a tiny bit of coffee for color. We sat at the breakfast table with her and sipped our “kid coffee” like ladies, feeling so grown up. As we grew older, Mee Maw gradually added more and more coffee and joked that when we were old ladies, we would finally be able to drink it black. (I'm still not there yet.) Mee Maw taught me to relish the small moments in life.
Mee Maw planted the seed for my Mexican food obsession. She and Paw Paw regularly treated our family to dinner at Rudy’s in Mesquite, and she always let Katy and me scrape our chips through the little pads of butter while Mom just watched and shook her head in disapproval. She always ordered a Coke with her meal because "it helped with digestion." When Mom tried to order one meal for Katy and me to share, Mee Maw insisted that we each have our own, and she always picked up the check with a smile. Mee Maw taught me the importance of generosity—not just in monetary terms but in giving of one’s time and talents.
Mee Maw planted the reading seed in me. She enrolled me in my first book club before I was even born. She made my Paw Paw, a master carpenter, build bookshelves in my bedroom. She was a true life-long reader, enjoying books until the last days of her life. The red chair that I sat in to read aloud to students at Shaw and now have in my house was her chair (built by my Paw Paw), and it is why I chose it as my cherished red reading chair. Mee Maw taught me the importance of literacy--that reading is a gift that will last a lifetime.
|Mee Maw's red chair|
Thankfully, Mee Maw planted the seed that lead Katy and me to Aggieland. My dirty little secret is that I grew up loving the Texas Longhorns (it’s hard for me to admit that in writing). Mee Maw got so upset with me when I cheered for that team from Austin on Thanksgiving. Mee Maw taught me about the great Aggie legacy in our family, and it was her influence that made me see the light and become an Aggie.
Mee Maw planted the seed of motherhood in me. My own mother embodies Mee Maw’s most treasured legacy. God blessed me with the most remarkable mom. She is my confidant, my friend, my soul mate. I look to her for advice, direction, and approval. My mother and I have never ridden that emotional roller coaster of mother/daughter relationships; our journey mirrors a West Texas highway, even and steady. I credit Mee Maw for this blessing because she taught my mother how to nurture with love, guide without judgment, and praise with sincerity. As the mother of precious daughters, I will continue down the road of motherhood that my Mee Maw and Mom paved for me.
Finally, Mee Maw planted the teacher seed in me; her legacy continues everyday when I stand in front of students and teach. As an elementary school principal in the 1950s through the 1970s, Mee Maw set a precedent for being a working mother; she taught me that a career can enhance rather than hinder my role as a mother. From Mee Maw I learned that teaching is not just a career but a calling, and she sowed the seed of being an educator in me.
On October 10, 2007, I kissed Mee Maw good-bye. She slipped into a drug-induced coma while on Hospice, and we watched as her body quickly and quietly shut down system by system. Her spirit flew to God in the early morning hours of October 11, and we marveled at how quickly and peacefully death came for her. She died like she lived—on her own terms and in her own time; my family was thankful for this gift.
Her “celebration of life” (she refused to let us call it a funeral) was truly that—a celebration. October 15 was a day filled with laughter and fond memories of this amazing woman. Former students and teachers from Nancy Mosley Elementary in the community of Rylie, Texas, filled the church along with friends and family. Memories flowed instead of tears as people honored the well-lived life of Alfred Angela Parks Weaver.
That is the day I realized that my grandmother is immortal; she lives forever through her legacy. Her body is gone, but her spirit remains in my morning coffee ritual, in my love of Mexican food and Aggieland, every time I read a great book, in my relationship with my own mother and daughters, and in my passion as an educator. My Mee Maw’s legacy continues; my Mee Maw lives in me.
In Loving Memory of
Alfred Angela Parks Weaver
December 7, 1913 to October 11, 2007
|Mee Maw with Peyton Jane in February 2007|