Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No one compares to Ma-maw

Whenever I think about my life and my childhood, no one compares to my Ma-maw. I don't know what I'd do without her. She is the one and only person that I tell everything. She lives in Kentucky, about 400 miles from me. I wish I could visit more often, with sadness, we only seem to make it there about once a year. Our last visit was in February this year. The whole extended family made it there for a surprise birthday for Ma-maw. It was her 70th birthday. She was surprised, it was great. It's really hard to pull one over on her, but she really had no idea that it had been in the works for months. It was nice to have the whole family together. Sadly, I think that will not happen again in her lifetime. The next time we will all be together is most likely when Ma-maw passes on to her better life. She has many health problems and a degenerating bone disease that has plagued her for years. I try not to think about her not being here. I always tell her that she has to live forever! I so wish that were possible. The thought of her not being around literally makes me nauseous. I am closer to her than I am even to my mother. Well, that does not say much, since I am not close to my mother at all (very long story for another post maybe.) For years, she has been my confidant in everything. The matriarch of our family and I love her so dearly. When I think that some day she will not be here, it makes me panic. What will happen? The house that she has lived in and I have visited and considered more like home forever, will never be the same. Whenever I make the journey to Kentucky, it always feels like going home. The sights, the smells, the people, just everything about it is home to me.

This is the view from the side yard up the road. Nothing looks better to me.

When I was a kid, my sister and I would spend the summers there with Ma-maw and Pa-paw and it was some of the best times I can remember. We would visit my Pa-paw's brothers and sisters, some which have passed away now. When we went to my Aunt Pauline's house, we played with the pigs, got jolted by the electric fence and always were right back there again! Didn't learn too quick that the fence would still jolt us. We went chasing after the cows in the pasture. We were curious about the bee hives that we were told to stay away from but of course did not listen. And then there were all the dogs lying around under the porch. Never a shortage of dogs. We played in this creek right behind their house with the crawdads.

We tied strings to June bugs until their legs all came off. The poor bugs. We caught jars full of lightening bugs. They let us play in the rain. We went into town to the Dollar Store and it was always a treat to get new crayons and coloring books. We went to the Drug Store where we could get ice cream at the counter. My Ma-maw would send us outside to play and when we would run in and out after we were told not to, she would lock us outside! And these are some of the best, most cherished memories that I have. My Pa-paw died when I was 12 years old. I have many fond memories of him too. We built this bird house together and I got to hammer the nails!

This photo of my Pa-paw was taken sometime in the 80's before he passsed away.

He even held the nails. And, after all these years, it is still there. I think of that day every time I see this bird house. There are so many memories there. When I am there it seems as if I have been transformed into another place and time in my life. I'm glad that my kids are getting to know my Ma-maw, because as much as I hate it, I know that she will not always be here. I know that she will not live forever, even though I can still hope for that! I hope that some day, my children have these wonderful memories of going to Kentucky, and will then realize why I make them leave the Playstation at home!

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