Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Good o'l Days

So I must admit I have two, very obvious to those who know me well,  guilty pleasures....

 The first is too watch the Food Network (mainly Paula Deen) and then make the delicious creations with my own little spin on them. I know exactly where I got my love for cooking and eating from, my wonderful paternal grandmother, Rose Ellen Bolick. She mastered everything she ever made. It was the absolute best version of the dish imaginable. I find myself craving her meals and sometimes I feel like I walk into a kitchen and the smell takes me right back to sitting at her table. Every bite just melting in your mouth with her very contagious laughter at her own stories in the background. When I was little I used to love it when she would get done cooking and give me the leftover "scraps" like the peelings from her vegetables and I could go outside and create the most elaborate mud pies you have ever seen! It was a passion that has always been with me and I know it was passed down from her to me. She passed away on a rainy day in April last year. We knew it was coming but the sense of loss and tradition that left our family that day was what we all knew was coming. And it is true it has not been the same without her.

I have been blessed beyond measure because God gave me and absolute amazing maternal grandmother as well. This precious woman was a second mother to me, someone I went to for advice from everything from what earrings to wear to what boys to not date! And through her I developed my second guilty pleasure which is shopping! I know most girls can say this however with this woman, Jo Fortune Williams, she made it an art. She could consignment shop like no one had ever seen. She found treasures every time, and I get that same passion from her, I love the hunt! But don't worry she could also find some amazing deals at the highest end retail stores out there. And boy could the woman accessorize! She loved big chunky pieces of jewelry and bright bold colors. When I was little I had no interest in going to the toy store, I wanted clothes. That is what made my Christmas list every year! My senior year of college I was working at a clothing boutique and I was sitting at the counter and glanced over and saw a keepsake box that had been unpacked for the accessory table. It was made of old colored glass and had an angel on top of it. I thought to myself  "Mamaz" would love this. Just a couple hours later my mother calls me and says that Mamaz had been taken to the emergency room. A few days later she went on to be with Jesus. I went to the boutique a couple days after the funeral and saw the box again and purchased it for my mother. I have noticed more and more throughout the years I find different pieces in stores that are hidden and unnoticed and it feels "therapeutic" in some way. I love it, just as much as she did. She is and will always be part of who I am, especially when I shop!

I find myself going back to my life when they were here and I think to myself "life is just not as sweet without them here" and that is true. However, we are always living in a time where one day we will look back and say "God was teaching me this at that time and I wish I would have paid closer attention to that". So in reality, we are always living in the "good o'l days". There is always something we can miss. We just have to remember what it taught us. I can not wait to relive my grandmothers lives with my children one day. Byron and I went to dinner the other night and we ended up sitting in the restaurant and talking about our grandfathers for two hours. All four men impacted our lives in so many ways even though we were children when they passed on. What legacies they have left for future generations. Isn't that what life is all about? Trying to live in the moment today and even though we are so far way from our friends and family these days we still carry with us all they have taught and shared with us. Life is sweet, even when a little sweetness is lost when those we love pass on, there is still so much left to share and remember.

Why I wrote this today is because my sister just called me to say my Aunt Harriett just passed away. She was the sister of Jo. I feel such a sense of loss about losing this entire generation. But what God has shown me today is that we can find a true comfort in their memory and to pass those memories on. And how cool is it when we find that their influence has developed some of the same passions we find in ourselves?