There is a set of stories I have told more times than I can count about my arrival and culture shock upon moving below the Mason-Dixon Line. The tales involve my (now) husband, and his grandmother. I met Martha Fern in June of 1992. I arrived at her house with boxes and boxes of my things to store in her basement... not exactly how one wants to impress her boyfriend's grandmother. She gave me a hug, and offered me sweet tea.
Over the years, as we spent more and more time with Maw Maw, who never would've let me call her Mrs.Anything, I came to appreciate her so very much.
She was lively, full of spunk, style, and humor. At age 70 something, she was line dancing at a town festival.
She was ALWAYS impeccably dressed. Matching shoes, handbags, and of course, hair done, and make up on.
She loved UNC basketball like none other. If you invited her out on game day, expect a no in reply.
She made the BEST chess pie. Ever.
She always had chocolate on her cupboard.
She kept her house spotless.
She taught me how to paint pecan shell Santa Clauses.
She was even there when I picked out my wedding dress...
and on December 11, 2012, she died.
I can't really put into words what it was like to have a "Maw Maw" in my life. My own grandmother was so far away, and having one here, that made me feel loved, was something I didn't even realize I cherished so much until she was gone.
She always gave me a Christmas envelope and birthday card like all the grandkids got... even before I was married to Micah. She knew my favorite color, and that I liked pottery, books, and vintage goodies. She was an amazing women for SO MANY reasons, but for now, I want to note one that meant so much to me...
In all the years we have been married, she never once introduced or referred to me as her "granddaughter in law". Not once. She would say, "This is my granddaughter, Judi. Micah's wife." I know it may seem like a small thing, I don't know if she even did it with intention. But I noticed it, and it touched my heart...
I have shed more tears than she would ever have wanted me to over her passing.
She was a great lady, and I know I will see her again someday, but for today, I want to be sad that I will never again be introduced as Martha Fern's granddaughter...
I love you Maw Maw. Thank you for being you and loving this Yankee so well.