I am lucky to have a large and loving family on both branches of my family tree. My dad’s side of the family lives in North Texas and for the past few years, we would come down every December to visit my Memaw Betty and see the rest of the family. An easy five-hour drive from Arkansas. Last year, after moving back to Tennessee I wanted to make sure that I was able to make the trip. A week before Christmas last year, I flew to Texas and met my Dad, sister, brother, and the nephews to visit Memaw Betty and have “Aunt Barbara’s Christmas at Diane’s.” Yes, that is the proper name. Looking back almost a year later, I am so glad we made time to make that trip. Memaw was too sick to make the Christmas party, but we stopped by her room at the Rehab center before heading out to Diane’s house. We spent the morning opening gifts and talking with Memaw. She got to hold her newest great-grandson. We took a picture of four generations of Wolfs. Then it was time to go so we kissed her goodbye and wished her a Merry Christmas. Just seven days later, she was gone.
Now it has almost been a year. There are times that I still can’t believe that she is gone. This year, we came down a weekend earlier and went to the Wolf family Christmas party at the KC Hall. Flying into Dallas and pointing my rental car north to Gainesville, Texas, I couldn’t help but reflect on the last time I flew to town – for Memaw’s funeral. This was the first year, I would be coming to Texas to celebrate Christmas and see family without Memaw here – bittersweet. I tried to focus more on the good memories and not on the sadness of knowing that she is gone. I know that she is looking down on us all and proud of the people we have become. There were a few times that I teared up while thinking of years past or finding pictures of Christmas as kids. I know I’m biased, but having Memaw Betty as a grandmother was a pretty special experience. When I was seven, my parents moved us twelve hours away to Tennessee. My brother, sister, and I would come down every summer for two months and live with Memaw Betty (and Pepaw Lee until he passed). Memaw would drive us around and make sure we had plenty to do. She put up with a lot from us grandkids, but you just knew she thought we hung the moon. She gave so much of herself to everyone, an example that I hope to live up to. So as I sit at my gate waiting to board my flight home to Nashville, I couldn’t let the weekend close without paying a small tribute to her memory.
Memaw you are missed, but your love lives on in each one of us, and we could definitely feel that this weekend.
2 pics from this year’s celebration.