In tribute to Mam-maw Catherine Guagliardo also known as Kitty
She was a teacher to all that crossed her path.
Kitty was 94 years old and died peacefully in her sleep while in her bed at my parent's house. My mom and dad said she had a great day!
She had 2 children, 10 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and 9 great great grandchildren.
Mam-maw lived with my mom and dad for the last 12 years. She had alzheimer's and couldn't be left alone. Not long after she moved in mom and dad got an alarm system so they could hear if she went out at night. They also kept a baby monitor in her room and theirs so they could hear her at night. Until the last year or so if my mom went somewhere, Mam-maw went with her. They have been quite the pair for so long it's hard to imagine them without each other. I know that Mam-maw's death is a relief for my mother, but sad at the same time. My mom and dad have taken care of her with much patience (my mom) and sugars (my dad).
My parent's have only left their house together a very limited number of times in the last year because Mam-maw could no longer travel. If they wanted to go somewhere together (grandchildren's birthday parties, events, etc.) they had to get a sitter. I have many thanks for all of the wonderful people that came to sit with Mam-maw so mom and dad didn't miss out on important events together. My parents have sacrificed much, but gained much but having such a loving presence in their home for so many years. I now pray that God will continue to bless my parents in the next phase of their lives.
They have loved her and taken care of her the way Jesus Christ has taught us to love. Mam-maw was hard to take care of because of her weakening body, but was VERY easy to love because she was so sweet. My mom always said, "I've never heard your grandmother say a bad word about anyone." I hope I can be more like her when I grow up. Maybe she'll give me some nudges from heaven when I start to stray.
Early memories I have of Mam-maw:
"painted carport, cemetery board meetings to figure out who was buried in the grave with the rotten tombstone (now I can laugh, but it used to gross me out), cutting the bushes every spring, pulling up monkey grass, raking leaves (my favorite), sunny side up eggs, lemon cake, wheel of fortune, her red couch, watching her pray on her kneeler when I spent the night with her, lathering up in lotion (she was never without), Andes mints, cross word puzzles and word searches, playing the 'bite your finger game' (she always won), keeping score at the basketball games while I cheered and Kortni played ball, back porch swing, paying for my first perm, and her 'Rachael' doll."
Later memories I have of Mam-maw:
"Taking her meals with my mom, moving her into my mom and dad's house, tucking her into bed, rubbing my arm, taking her to Bible study at Aunt Sis' house (my favorite older memory), holding my babies and not remembering who they belong to 5 minutes later, telling me she's going to steal my babies, and feeding her dinner when she kept reaching for dessert before she finished."
Here are a jumble of awesome memories from of her family:
"fresh cut grass, jigsaw puzzles, ice cold cokes, peanut butter cake, and fingernail polish" - Jaime Guagliardo
"rum cake and mississippi mud pie" - Melissa Guagliardo
"I'm all about sittting in her kitchen at that very cool kitchen table eating fried eggs and white Bunny bread toast. Yumm!" - Amy Guagliardo
"Many many hours at that table. Then she had the seats reupholstered and was scared we were going to scratch or tear them every time we sat down." - Teresa Guagliardo
Things Mam-maw said on a regular basis:
"That was a love tap cause I love you"
"I love you cause I want to; not cause I have to."
Mam-Maw: "I love you."
Anybody else: "I love you, too."
Mam-Maw (chuckling): "Good. Glad we got that settled."
Mam-maw "I love you"
Anybody else: "I love you too"
Mam-maw " I loved you first!!
"Buzzard lope and turkey trot!"
"You gotta love the Mam-Maw!"
" I love you a bushel and a Peck and a hug around the neck!"
"Always put lotion on, it will make you look younger longer"
Pa-Paw and Mam-maw
October 2011 Guagliardo Family reunion. Kitty Guagliardo with her 2 sons; Tony and Don.
Mother's day 2012 - Dad and Mam-maw. I can't believe how this was just a few short weeks ago. She wasn't even able to let her body fully relax, yet she had a hard time keeping her head up straight.
I couldn't help but smile when I saw her in her casket tonight. She hasn't looked like herself in so long, but she sure looked wonderful and peaceful in death.
Always giving "sugars."
Don and Mam-maw - Family reunion 2010
Emily Rebecca Guagliardo and Mam-maw at Paul's first birthday party.
Emily and Mam-maw at a softball game.
Mam-Maw with Maggie Mercke in 2006
Mam-Maw and Sammy Mercke in 2007
Loving on Paul January 2008
Mam-maw, Riley, mom, and Paul - 2008
Paul's baptism 2008
I love, love, love this one! Her fingernails were not just right, so she was picking at them! I think this was in 2006.
I think this is the best portrait we have of Mam-maw in the last few years. She looks great here.
Tony reading to Riley AND to Mam-maw. Mam-maw was more interested in the book than Riley was.
Dixie, Mam-maw, and Kortni - 2012
Dixie and Mam-maw
Mam-maw with Charlie - 2010
Just a few years after the picture of Tony reading, I got this one of Jaime reading. Mam-maw was not quite so interested here. She'd preferred to sleep.
Roughing out Toledo Bend in her wheel chair!
October 2011 Family reunion.
Mam-maw's birthday a few years ago.
Emily, Jacob, Dad, Mam-maw, Tony, Nick, Cooper, Reed
Mam-Maw Kitty and MaMa Henrietta - Thanksgiving 2008
This is my grandmothers, my parents, their 6 kids, spouses, and children at Thanksgiving 2008
Teresa, George, Carrie, Rachael, Bernie, Amy, Tony, Denis with Paul, Jessica
Dad with Reed, Mam-maw, MaMa, Mom with Riley, Jaime with Sammy
Jacob, Nick, Maggie, Cooper, and Emily!
Dad and Mam-maw at one of my kid's birthday parties.
Nick Guagliardo and Mam-maw
Jacob Braun and Mam-maw at Jacob's Pre-K graduation ceremony - 2007
Terry Cooper and Mam-maw
Thanksgiving 2008 each of my parents kids took turns taking pictures with mom, dad, Mam-maw, and MaMa.
Jaime and Rudie
Tony, Teresa, Jessica, Carrie, Jaime, Rachael
The Beck Family
The Braun Family
The Mercke Family
The Guagliardo Family
This is so typically Mam-maw. If she wasn't rubbing your leg or arm she was still busy with her hands. Here she is straightening the table cloth at Riley's 1st birthday party. January 2007
Mam-maw meeting Charlie in the hospital. November 2009
Hannah, Mam-maw, and Dixie - 2012
Mam-maw with Riley in October 2006
Aunt Sis and Mam-maw saying hello with Amy making sure no one fell. October 2011
Camille meeting both of her great grandmothers for the first time. Neither one is still with us here on earth, but these incredible women are both with Jesus.
Jessica was joking tonight and saying that MaMa had to go first so she could get to heaven and clean. Then MaMa Henrietta said, ok ladies, come on, it's ready. Grammy Disher (my Uncle's mother) died within hours of Mam-maw dying. MaMa Henrietta knew them both well, so we figured she convinced them she needed them in heaven more than we needed them.
Mom, Dad, Me, Mam-maw and Camille - March 2012
Paul, Mom, Dad, MaMa Henrietta, Me, Mam-maw with Camille, and Charlie (Riley was at school) - March 2012
Mam-maw could NOT stop looking at Camille when she met her. Notice that Mam-maw is not looking at the camera in a single picture. We tried to get her to, but she was so absorbed with Camille that she didn't even notice the commotion and camera around her. She talked and talked to Camille until I had to pry Camille out of her arms so MaMa Henrietta could have a turn.
I'm ending this blog with my last, sweetest memory of Mam-maw meeting my newest baby, Camille. This is the first and last time that she held Camille. Mam-maw became much weaker very soon after this day. We still visited, but Mam-maw didn't get to hold her again. Camille and I still leaned over that chair so Mam-maw could give her "sugars" each time we saw her.
I took a picture of Mam-maw in her casket today, because she looks so absolutely like Mam-maw. (Not like she did in these last days.)
Mam-maw was always meticulous about her fingernails, so my sisters painted them Friday night at the end of the wake. I know she's proud!
Here are just a few of the beautiful flowers for Mam-maw.
Riley went into Mae Mae and Pa Pa's house right after Mam-maw Kitty's funeral. She immediately noticed a difference in the furniture arrangement. Next thing I know she is running out of Mam-maw's room, jumping up and down, and yelling. "Mam-maw died and we got a playroom!" That has been Mam-maw's room for the last 12 years. I have no doubt that her presence is still there with our children as they play in the playroom.
We are all so sad to not have our Mam-maw anymore, but we are also so happy that she is home with Jesus.