She was born February 24, 1923.
Look at that precious little face!
Here she is at about four holding her baby brother, John.
This is my favorite picture of my Paw and Maw, taken around 1940.
I love the smile on her face! (And the hint of one on his!)
She was young and so in love.
Here she is in February on her birthday.
88 years old and tootin' her own horn!
Here we are on August 20th. Eight days before she died.
I thank Brian for this precious picture.
She was my grandma, my Maw. She was 44 years old when I was born and she was mine for 44 years. She gave me so much, taught me so much. She was such a wonderful, adoring mama and Maw to all of us. That's why she held on as long as she did. For us. I pretend that I was ready for this. I wasn't. Even though I saw her when she was having bad days and I knew her time was getting short, I wasn't ready. I didn't want to let her go. There's never been a day in my life that she wasn't there, that she wasn't where I could get my hands on her. The past three days have been hell. My chest is heavy, the tears come easily. I know, I know, I know she's in a better place, she's not suffering anymore and she's free. Free from that nursing home bed that held her captive, free from nurses who poked her and lost their patience with her, free from pain, free from worry and the bad dreams she had, free. I know all that. I still want her. I want her here, well, happy, fat and sassy. I'm selfish. She'd had bad days before and had bounced right back and had really, really good days. We laughed and talked and I crawled up in that bed with her and laid on her, just breathing in that sweet smell of her and listening to her heart beat.
How blessed we were to belong to Sarah Belle. All of us. We're a huge family. Maw had seven babies of her own, Gene, Brenda, Rick (my sweet, loving, incredible, handsome daddy), Robert, Linda, Carol and Wendy. We lost Uncle Gene to a car accident in 1973. All of those babies grew up, got married and had babies. Kim, me, my brother Ricky, Debee, Angie, Adam, Jennifer, Kevin, my baby sister Ami, Jeremy, Lesley, Ryan and Sarah, Maw's namesake. And some of those babies have had babies. Maw's great-grands. Lesley, Blaine, Cindy, Jessica, Christopher, Skyler, Emily, Tabitha, Cambria and Bennett. We are her legacy. We'll keep going so she will keep going.
Maw was the greatest cook ever! She taught my mama how to cook so I was blessed twofold there. It's their fault I'm chubby. :) We spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve at Maw's house. I can still smell that kitchen.
Maw loved her stories. She's the reason I grew up loving CBS soaps. Young and The Restless, As The World Turns and Guiding Light were staples in the Hall family. Shoot, those folks WERE Halls as far as we were concerned. We worried over them, talked about them, like they were family.
And let me tell you, Maw made the rounds every Christmas morning, to everybody's house, to see what Santa Claus brought. Even after we were teenagers and were getting stereos and clothes, she came.
And when I met my Larry, she was so supportive. She always told me she wanted me to be happy. She knew that I was. And she was just so tickled that she and Larry share their birthdays, they're both February 24th babies. So was Uncle Gene.
I always said, "I'll see you later, Maw!" when we parted, at the nursing home and when she lived on her own. I say that now. No goodbyes for us. I'll see you later, Maw! But until then, I'll carry you with me, in my memories, my short stature, my Hall legs and my heart. Your little Kewpie Doll will love you forever.