We recently took Mamaw, my 96 year old grandma, with us to feed the livestock. She grew up in the country and although she is frail and her eyesight is quickly fading she still gets around quite well. She is becoming more and more forgetful these days, but her sense of smell is keen and she knew immediately when we got close to the animals. Even though her mind is slipping it amazes me how sharp her memory can be with childhood memories. While we were feeding she noticed a very large pecan tree and said, “Oh James that is a good tree! Do you know why it is a good tree? Because when I was a little girl my papa used a tree like that to string up hogs when it was time for butchering.” I never grow tired of Mamaw’s stories. I distinctly remember a story about an ole tomcat that would not quit meowing, but I think some stories are better left untold. I assure you she didn’t string it up in a tree. This is Mamaw telling James about the pecan tree.
As the day went on Mamaw shared how she missed Papaw (my grandpa) more and more. He was a big burly man who passed away 33 years ago, but she vividly remembers him in the hospital as his life was coming to an end looking at her and saying, “Mama who is going to keep my baby warm? Who is going to hug you tight like I do?” They both cried. She said she misses those bear hugs more than anything. Her day could have gone awry, but the minute Papaw wrapped her in his arms she felt peace. Maybe Papaw’s hugs are the reason I love James’ hugs. What about you? What do you love the most about your spouse or a loved one? Cherish it and take time for it because in a blink of an eye it could be gone.