In tribute to MaMa Henrietta.
One V E R Y inspiring, strong, happy, smart, insightful, wise woman.
I think we all can only hope to be as wonderful as she was one day.
She had 6 children, 19 grandchildren, and 34 great grandchildren.
"My hero who will never be forgotten. ♥ from "Maw-maw bread" with honey, to UNO and pick-up sticks, to redbeans and rice and gumbo, to the albums that entertained me for hours, to the quilts that keep us warm, to recycling, to taking care of flags, to clothes she hung on the line, to the alligator on the bed, to the prayers she said for me and my Angel she will always be, she is the person I hope to some day be."
This is a photo from a trip to a beach house with MaMa one year ago. It rained on us most of the time we were there, so we played cards. Playing cards; any kind of cards; was MaMa's speciality. I think that's what I remember most about her from childhood (besides her sourdough bread and honey from her own beehives). She was so good at cards - I think some of the reason is her concentration - you can just see it in the set of that mouth!
The other thing that stands out about this trip was the ride home. She was riding with me, Jaime, and my 3 kids. Charlie was still pretty young then. We were at least 30 minutes from home and Charlie was F I N I S H E D with being in the car. She was crying so hard, but I knew there was nothing that would help. If we stopped she would calm down when I got her out, but cry the second I put her back in. MaMa just couldn't understand how I could let that baby cry. I couldn't see the point in stopping when we were so close to home. She made it clear she wanted me to stop and console Charlie, but I refused.
That was MaMa - she devoted her whole life to raising children and loving grand and great-grand children. She was always so wonderful at consoling a crying baby. That was the only time I didn't hand over one of my babies to her loving and experienced arms when she asked or was available. I will miss those arms very much.
This is MaMa Henrietta and PaPa Buddy about a month before PaPa Buddy died in 2006. This is when they came over to meet Riley Mae. I'll never forget MaMa insisting that she do something; anything; to help me around the house. When I refused to give her a job she went in my bathroom and cleaned it for me.
MaMa Henrietta and Mam-Maw Kitty with fat little Riley Mae in 2006
My siblings and I with MaMa at Aunt Robin's after PaPa's funeral in March 2006
Me, Jessica, Teresa, MaMa, Carrie, Tony, and Jaime
Thank you MaMa and PaPa for starting this family. Here's my mom and dad added into the picture.
MaMa and Riley Mae after PaPa's funeral.
Mam-Maw Kitty and MaMa Henrietta - Thanksgiving 2008
MaMa in the middle with her daughter (Linda - my mom), my dad, my siblings, their spouses, and all of their kids at that point
MaMa meeting Charlie Jane on November 11, 2009
MaMa's 85th birthday party at Aunt Robin's house.
MaMa with Paul
You can see that MaMa is trying to participate in the cake part of her celebration, but of course she is multitasking and loving on her grandkids at the same time.
April 17, 2010
MaMa entertaining Charlie Jane at Mike and Kathy Joiner's annual party.
April 17, 2010
MaMa and Aunt Robin
MaMa with her broken arm at Toledo Bend 2010
Riley says she is going to miss having MaMa at Toledo Bend so much.
April 2, 2011
MaMa and my mom playing with Charlie at Nick's birthday party.
May 1, 2011
Jacob's First Communion
Maggie and MaMa at Jacob's First Communion
You have to love this! MaMa and Katelyn playing charades at Toledo Bend 2011. MaMa was always such a good sport.
I think we all love this photo of MaMa because it screams of her personality and spirit!
Toledo Bend 2011
March 5, 2012
Mom, Dad, MaMa, Me
Paul, Mam-Maw Kitty with Camille, and Charlie
This was during the day when Riley was at school. I do wish she could have seen MaMa that day.
Mam-Maw Kitty with Camille and MaMa kneeling on the floor. Aunt Robin and I even commented on how amazing she is at 87 years old. I asked if she could bend down a little to get more on Mam-Maw's level and she said, "oh sure, no problem." She made getting up look easier than I can. I think we all are so grateful that she was strong until the very end.
Our last picture of MaMa Henrietta. She held and loved on Camille for about 30 minutes. Camille started fussing and MaMa put her right to sleep. Then we had a great lunch together (thanks to my mom for cooking). I am also so so so grateful that my mom coordinated with Aunt Robin to get MaMa to come over that day. At first we didn't think she was going to be able to come. I told mom it wasn't a big deal because I could come back to her house any day that week if it was better for MaMa. Aunt Robin made a phone call and changed an appointment so they could come over anyhow. We had no way of knowing she would go to the hospital the next evening and never get to go back home. God knew and worked things out so she could meet Camille.
I came across these photos in some old albums my parents have (October 2013). I immediately thought, I must add these to MaMa Etta's tribute. Then I open this tribute and see the photo above only to start crying because Etta Catherine will never be held (on earth) by her Mama Etta. She will be the first great grandchild that doesn't get embraced by these arms. If you look 2 photos up you'll see both of Etta Catherine's name sakes. Makes me cry even harder. These were 2 INCREDIBLE women. I hope they rubbed off on me somehow, somewhere.
I remember watching her gear up to go rob bees. I don't remember watching her do it though, I was probably to scared and stayed inside. I also remember her coming to my class in full gear and teaching us about robbing bees. How cool is that? Then my brain goes to the fact that both of my parents now do that for my kids. They go to school and teach about collecting berries, making jam, and spreading it on homemade bread. They also teach about the family syrup mill and how to make molasses. Are we there already? Did I just go there? My parents better take care of themselves so they can live at least as long as MaMa Etta and Mam-Maw Catherine.
If you scan back through these pictures (all except the concentrated face on the first) you will notice that MaMa is smiling in every single one. Her smiles aren't just poses for the camera. She was truly happy in every one of these photos. I L O V E that I have these pictures to show my children and help them remember her in years to come.
These are a few flowers from MaMa's funeral. I think she is the one that made the kids take flowers after Paw Paw's funeral. I bet she was smiling down from heaven at the kids and saying, "go ahead, take them, they are just going to rot in the sun anyhow."
We all love you so much MaMa Henrietta. Thank you for being you!
Love from one of your many granddaughters,