About a month ago, my last living grandparent passed away. She was 95 years old, and I called her “Mamaw”.
From as far back as I can remember, my Mamaw has been my creative encourager. She was a painter and loved painting scenes of the Texas Hill Country and most of all, blue bonnets. She did gorgeous oil paintings, water colors, and acrylics, and even dabbled in some mixed media.
Even though my Mamaw was primarily a painter, she was an amazing crafty person and sewist. She could look at an outfit in a store and draft her own pattern and make something that looked even better. When I would get to visit her, she would take me to museums and would set me up in her painting and sewing room with art supplies. It makes me a little sad that I didn’t realize what an asset she was to me at the time and that I didn’t ask for her to teach me. I did really enjoy every moment spent with my Mamaw, and I know I didn’t take it for granted that I had her in my life.
She inspired me to take art classes at a young age and had such a determination about life that I only hope I have some of that in me.
I can only hope that I live to 95. My Mamaw had an amazing life and traveled and loved and lived well. Before my Papaw had passed, my Mamaw affectionately called him her “Cutie-cute”. My family and I attended the memorial service last month, and I hadn’t prepared myself to start going through her personal things, but that’s what had to be done. It’s really weird to think that once your life ends, the pieces left behind are just an echo of yourself–purchases you made, things you planned to finish, books you read…It happened that I am the only person with an interest in sewing/quilting in our family. As a result, I ended up taking home my Mamaw’s sewing machines. I don’t really plan to ever use them, but just having them around me is comforting. To have items that a loved one used to create things and see them every day is a sweet reminder of what my Mamaw means to me. I had so many cute little outfits when I was younger that she had made me on those sewing machines. Even though we had an idea that the end might be in sight for her, it didn’t prepare me for the loss I felt when she passed. I guess having some of these things, along with patterns that her handwriting is on comforts me in a small way.