Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Memories of Memere

Just 4 1/2 months after Pepere passed away, my Memere went to join him. You hear so often how when one person dies after so long of being together, the other one is not far behind. I think I knew all along that this would be the case with Memere and Pepere.

When Pepere passed away, it never really sank in. I had just had Andy and life was so wonderful with my new perfect baby boy that I wasn't as heartbroken as I probably would have been. With my Memere passing, it is safe to say that my heart is shattered right now.

I remember when Memere and Pepere would come visit, I would be so excited for weeks before. Memere would always cook us yummy things and buy us toys and souvenirs everywhere we went (even if they were places that we went all the time).

She would rearrange our kitchen cabinets so that they made sense to her. It would drive my mom crazy. One time, she cleaned our water heater and showed my mom the dirty rag at 5 am after my mom had been up all night with me (I was only a few months old) and said "I don't think this has been cleaned since last time I was here!" Good guess Memere!

She used to sit at our house, in 100 degree weather and knit mittens for underprivileged children out of the ugliest yarn anyone has ever seen.

When she laughed really hard, she didn't make noise, her whole body just shook. We all try to imitate it, but it can not be done.

Memere taught me how to cross stitch and embroider (yes, I know how to cross stitch and embroider). She made me doll blankets (some Julie still uses for her dolls). She did puzzles with us and read books with us and let us do whatever we want. She always got the same enormous ice cream cone from Hodgies that we got. In fact, sometimes I think she wanted to ice cream more than we did! She always had something sweet to give us after each meal.

When we woke up in the morning, the cereal, bowls and milk were waiting out on the table for us. The milk was usually warm by this point, but we didn't seem to mind. Over breakfast we would discuss what we wanted for lunch :)

As we got older, if she wanted us to not sleep til noon, she would play ragtime tunes on the piano at the bottom of the stairs and pretend like she wasn't trying to wake us.

One time my cousin Keith and I walked up to the pizza shop up the street and bought a HUGE cheese pizza. We brought it home and Pepere sat and watched as Keith, Memere and I devoured the whole thing.

Memere and Pepere were a huge part of my life even though they lived so far away. We got a card and a dollar on every holiday (even the obscure ones) and they called almost every weekend. I was always excited to see them, no matter if they came here or we went there. They supported everything that we ever did.

I will miss my grandparents every day. I will miss seeing Pepere without his teeth and miss Memere coming up randomly, patting my arm, telling me she is so happy I was there. I hope that I am able to be half the strong, intelligent woman that my Memere was, and raise my children to be successful and independent as she did hers.


Anne and Dave said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Memere. I am sure she must be as incredibly proud of you and yours as we are.

Aunt Marian said...

Beautiful job, Rachel. It is true that we save the spoiling for our grandchildren. It was hard for her to do all for 7 kids, but they had other ways to spoil us that we probably didn't even realize at the time. She once said that they wanted to give us more than they ever had, but she wondered if Christmas was way too much. But they continued to do it anyway!

Christina said...

This is really sweet.

Tess said...

Great job! No one could've said it better.

Keith said...

that pizza was so huge! we BOTH had to carry it... mmm

very well said cuz. she will be missed.

Bess Anne said...

Love you Rach. I hope you enjoy your time over here on the East Coast. I've been thinking about you guys.