My Uncle Tim had put a note on Facebook asking for memories or stories people had of her. I commented, half jokingly, that I could write an essay. He held me to it, and what you see below is the essay I wrote and what he shared at her memorial service. I enjoyed writing this and remembering all of the many good times I had at my grandparents' house.
Our grandmother was good at a lot of things. One thing, however, she was not good at was Nintendo, as my brother can attest to, as Mammaw tried to play a game of Anticipation (basically Pictionary) for him when he was 4. Actually, the fact that Andrew was even able to get her to pick up a controller was amazing, but it also points to the one thing about her all of the grandkids loved the most - she cared and spent time with us. When my mom went back to work a couple of years after I was born, I would stay at Mammaw and Pappaw's house. The first few times she would come to pick me up, well, let's just say I would run away and scream, "No!" or so the story goes. I think all the grandkids felt the same way. Going over there was fun.
Playing tennis in the backyard. Throwing a ball on the carport roof and catching it when it rolled off. Cooking with sand. Watching the trains. Playing the game "Uncle Wiggly" or "Life" or "Sorry." Looking at stamp collections. Watching The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune. Working a United States puzzle. Drawing on all of the Exide paper. Playing "farm" in the backyard. Getting to play in her car in the carport, even if one time my cousin Emily and I somehow managed to start it with a key that was not the actual key. Catapulting little plastic balls into a plastic net in the middle of a metal board. There are a lot of toys and games in that house that got played with for over 20+ years. If the walls at 4042 Speck Drive could talk, they would have a lot of stories about a lot of grandchildren laughing and having fun.
If you were to ask the Whitehorn family what my favorite dessert is, I'm willing to bet the most popular answer would be "Mammaw's Rice Krispie Squares," and they would be correct. And not the marshmallow squares... the peanut butter Rice Krispie squares. I don't know what she did to make them so good, but they were. Often imitated but never duplicated, hers were and always will be the best. As my cousins Emily and Mary can attest to, she made a mean bowl of chocolate ice cream, too. And by chocolate ice cream, I mean taking vanilla ice cream and mixing the precisely perfect amount of chocolate syrup in it and stirring it until it was the perfect consistency and flavor. Her cheese toast was always the best. And for Andrew, her meatballs could not be matched, even when our mom followed the exact same recipe Mammaw had. His response? "Not as good as Mammaw's." Indeed.
Now that I am a parent myself, I see the way my mom interacts with and loves on my 2 daughters. I know where she gets that. I know where she learned that. And it makes me smile, because I know how much fun I had with Mammaw. And my girls get to experience that same fun with their Gigi. Proverbs 17:6 says, "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged." And for Mammaw and Pappaw, that was the absolute truth. All of us knew how much we were loved and how much we mattered to them. And that legacy will carry on. The stories and memories will pass on. And if I am blessed enough to have grandchildren of my own, I will share those stories and have as much fun as possible with them.