Marmie...if you have read Little Women, you readily will get the reference.
As a girl growing up, my sister and I often used different terms of endearment when talking to our Mother. Mommy, Mama, Mother, Mom, or when we were hoping to get whatever we realllly realllly wanted at the moment...Marmie. It always made her smile, but the success rate of its effectiveness is questionable. Carrie most frequently called her Mom, but Mother was my moniker of choice.
Our Mother was a woman of strength, comedy, a little quirky irreverence, beauty, and patience. She offered honest answers to questions posed (even if it was not what you wanted to hear). She taught the lesson of "time is of no importance" to many people, that lesson being that one should not be so caught up in schedules but enjoy the moment you are in for what it is.
This summer will mark the sixth year that she has been gone from this earth. However, she is with me at all times. Frequently I will "hear" her voice whispering in my ear, even in times of certain stillness and quiet. Her laugh will jingle in the wind and wafts of her two signature scents will sneak up on me with no logical explanations. She is within me for sure and certain. And without a doubt she is with three young men that adored her as well.
In this day and age, it seems to be less and less common for children to grow up with one or even two sets of grandparents to influence their lives. Carrie and I were lucky, we had grandparents from both sides AND a set of great-grandparents with us for many, many years. The influence of these grandmothers on me is very distinct.
Granny Grammer (my father's mother) was an incredible woman. It was by her side that I learned to sew, cook, crochet, garden and so many other things. The concept of working hard was passed to me through her. Afternoons spent in her house nearly always involved a little cleaning, a little crafting, a nap--including whispered stories of her childhood, maybe a walk over to the local drive-in for a coke, and cooking a wonderful, basic, good down home meal for the rest of the family to come enjoy before taking me home.
Granny Phillips (my mother's mother) embodied a gentle spirit. Sometimes we called her "Granny Phillpsy". The smell of Dove soap immediately brings images of her to my mind. Her home was always a place of quiet refuge. Her cooking was superb and her organizational/planning skills were models for my life. Spice cake was a frequent treat found on the counter of her kitchen, but my all time favorite was to reach for graham cracker squares that she stored in a cast iron tea kettle. Kept in the kettle, out of their wrapper, these sweet treats were always ever so slightly soft and would mush and dissolve in your mouth. To this day, crispy crunchy grahams are a no go for me, have to have the softened texture to truly enjoy them.
Grandmother (my father's grandmother) was sweet and funny. The blessing of having great grandparents as an active part of your life well into your twenties is almost unheard of. Grandmother (and Granddad) lived a short walking distance from Granny Grammer. We would walk over to their house and Grandmother would usually be puttering around in the kitchen or doing something with flowers. To this day, I regret not writing down her killer recipe for popcorn balls...her Halloween signature treat. Sunglasses often make me giggle with the memory of riding out to the family farm with them. She was sitting in the front seat complaining that something was wrong with her clip on sunglasses. The level of frustration in her voice was clearly rising, but gave way to peals of laughter when it was noticed, yes, there WAS something wrong, one of the lenses had popped out so she had one green lens vision and one clear no lens vision.
So, on this special day, Happy Mother's Day to Marmie, the Grannies and a Grandmother! You are missed, but very deeply loved and remembered every single day.