My sister and I spent last Sunday afternoon sorting through Mum Mum's things in her room. What a treasure trove that was! We found so many old pictures, keepsakes, cards, and little pieces of history that our dad helped us piece together. While sad and strange, it was also quite fascinating. One of the most interesting things was a funeral program we found for Mum Mum's two cousins who died in WWII- one in Belgium in 1945 and the other in Normandy in 1944- brothers who shared a funeral in 1949. I could only imagine… Cody's grandfather survived that war, and he is still traumatized by his experiences there to this day. We also found pictures dating back to the late 1800s of family members. My dad said he'd commission me to put together a family history- heck yes I'll do that! I mean, shoot, we have a family history based on my maternal great-grandparents from Iceland dating back to the 1100s or something crazy like that. No joke- the genealogy is more than 100 pages long! Why not make one for the other side of the family?
My favorite discovery was a little memory book that Mum Mum put together. No one knew she had it- my dad said that had he known it was there, he would have pulled it out often for her to look at in her final weeks. It was just a little pocket photo album, and in the very front was this poem clipped from a newspaper:
She kept all of my school age pictures in this little photo album, but it wasn't just me- it contained old photos of all of her kids, her mom, and her brother. She loved all of us so much. There was a picture of one of her beloved dogs, other newspaper clippings, and even a little card I gave her when I was little.
Remember the Skaggs story? I found the picture in this little album. I was dressed up as Bugs Bunny. Hahaha.
Here are some of my favorite photos of Mum Mum and me from way back when. Such sweet, sweet memories…
Greeting her and Other Mum Mum (her mom) when they first moved to Arizona from Pittsburgh.
Such a character! My dad giving her smooches.
I don't know what I was eating, but whatever it was I liked it A LOT.
You can tell by the "don't eff with my food" look I'm giving the camera.
…and kisses. I don't know why, but I really liked to give this
leopard of hers kisses every time I went to her apartment. I know. I was a
Mum Mum gave me this stuffed cat and I named her Christina.
She hated having her picture taken…
…unless Muffin was in the picture! Later she would go cook up filet
mignon and feed it to the dog! (I'm not joking. She actually did this!
That dog ate better than we did. Haha)
There was nothing I loved more as a child than to run around in circles yelling, "Chase me! Chase me!" And although Mum Mum couldn't run fast, she would always play along and say, "Come here, you little squirt!" And I would giggle and giggle, and run to her and hug her tight, and say, "I'm so glad you're here, Mum Mum. I love you."
This special lady was a part of so many of my most precious memories- ones that I will cherish forever. I'm so glad she's in a beautiful place, that she has been made whole once again. I'm smiling for her now, always.
You were so good to me!
There are so many things
I wanted still
to do – to say to you…
We cannot see Beyond…
But this I know:
I loved you so- 'twas heaven
here with you!