a letter to my Great Grandmother,

Have I ever told you how much you mean to me? How much I loved your black-eyed peas and playing 15 cents? Well, I can’t say how much you mean to me. It’s more than words could ever say. Your black-eyed peas are the best I have ever eaten and playing 15 cents is only fun if we are all there cheating.

My earliest memories of you and grandaddy were always at the holidays; thanksgiving, christmas, new years and easter. You were always making something *amazing* in the kitchen, while the guys sat in the living room watching football or baseball, always on mute so they could hear the radio broadcast. Grandaddy would make a brisket that, to this day I haven’t found anyone to compare him to. The smell of burning leaves alway takes me back to the memories of your house. I remember black-eyed peas from your garden every new years along with a million other homemade delicacies I crave on a daily basis now.

Haley and I used to play house outside in your old Airstream for HOURS, we always begged to sleep out there but you never gave in. I will always remember your guest bathroom. I loved the floral smell and the aquatic scene on the shower doors. I will always remember the walk to Lake Texoma, even if it meant being eaten alive by mosquitos.

I have the fondest memories of sitting around your kitchen table; talking, laughing and gossiping. I remember playing 15 cents, and how Aunt Jean was a cheat.

I know how self conscious you are about your face and the results from having the cancer. But I have the best memories looking up into your face, that very face that would behold me and my stories, and tell yours. I adore the photos I have of you and I find myself looking over them quiet often.

Your ability to speak your mind has been passed down. Your daughters are as determined and strong willed as you. Your Granddaughters are strong women who know how to get the job done, and can cook mighty fine too. Your Great Granddaughters are women who know they can change the world, because the people they love believe in them. Thank you for believing in us, encouraging us and supporting us. We may have only seen you a few times a year but your house was always the best. Your support through my childhood has given me inner strength to always believe in myself and fiercely love as you loved me.

Travis is amazed at how lucky I am to have had you. He never really had the opportunity to meet his Great Grandparents. And he knows how much you have meant to me.

I will never forget sitting around the kitchen table long after dinner with you, Aunt Jean and Grandma Linda…we were talking about heaven. I said that heaven would have chocolate covered strawberries everywhere. You said heaven would have more than that, it would have everyone we loved.

Granma, I know heaven has that and more.

It has peace, comfort and everlasting joy…Grandaddy and Jake, too

Shelby


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