“teri emails me almost everyday,” meme told vicky in early 2010.
“mom, it’s her blog. you’re not the only one who gets it,” my mother-in-law vicky quipped back to danny’s grandma aka “meme”.
(of course we wouldn’t have minded her thinking we were the ultimate grandkids sending daily photos & updates)
but from then on, we’d always joke that i wrote the blog just for meme.
so it’s with a heavy heart that this post is in honor of my most loyal follower, Katy Lou Andrews.
if you’re picturing a little old lady, scratch that vision immediately. at 80, meme was still hip as ever– and had the tattooed-on eyebrows to prove it. always decked to the nines in her perfectly pressed polyester pant suits with sufficient diamonds & jewels to match, meme was a young southern gal at heart. she was a social butterfly and well known in her circles. when meme wasn’t cruising around tucson in her CRV or eating at her favorite Red Lobster, she was tending to hers and papa’s impeccable home and honeybear, her precious pooch. she was a doting wife, mother, animal lover and “meme” to her 10 grand and great-grandkids who she was very proud of and always there for. she wouldn’t even dare miss an out-of-town baby shower or wedding.
visiting with meme was easy and fun. she was relevant, current and had her signature stories from the 80’s/90’s that we’ve all heard about 638 times, but will forever miss at family gatherings. buying little danny his “rwed cowboy boots” despite vicky’s strict orders to not get them for him. chasing tricia around the house with a suppository if she refused to go. you know, the family classics.
in early october, we got a call from vicky that during a routine, preventative, outpatient procedure, something had gone wrong. that 1 in a million freak accident landed meme in the hospital. without second thought, we left the office, grabbed our bags and headed south on the I-10. less than 48 hours later, on october 10, 2014 we gathered around meme’s bedside as she took her final breathe.
a woman of God, papa found comfort in accepting that this was her time and she’d gone to meet her maker. but for me, i can’t help but feel that she was taken way too soon. sure, 80 is a good run but meme wasn’t an old lady or “sick.” over the years, her tiny body had battled and overcome her fair share of health issues, but lately she was feeling better than ever. she was still sharp as a tack, funny and fully self-sufficient. it never crossed my mind that meme wouldn’t be around for this year’s holidays or the next chapter of our lives.
after that surreal drive home from the hospital, us girls (vicky, aunt debbie, tricia, makaela & me) sat together on meme’s bed. as we looked around her room my heart was warmed by meme’s rotating computer screen saver. through the tears, we smiled at the hundreds of photos she’d saved from the blog. pictures of her family… her children, grandkids, great-grandkids, granddogs, places she thought were pretty… all in her room.
and that’s when i realized that perhaps i really had written the blog “for meme.” for the people and relationships in our life that are more bonded because of this little space on the internet. i was grateful that she felt so in-tune with our life, got to see photos and videos that she may not have never seen otherwise, and that it allowed us to have more meaningful conversations vs. surface level catch-ups. when we returned from our asia trip, we sat in her living room as she asked a bunch of questions and wanted to know more about the things that had really caught her attention (she was particularly worried about vietnamese women in villages selling their children). still makes me laugh just thinking about it.
i lost all four of my grandparents as an early teen, so meme’s been my pseudo grandma for the past 12 years. we’ll forever miss her voice and the signature way she’d greet us, “well hiiiii danny and teri.” i’ll miss my new gem show scarf gifted on each occasion. we’ll miss her smile, sassy attitude and her emoji-filled email replies to blog posts where she’d tell me how proud she was of danny, of us, and how much she loved hunter.
another painful reminder that life is precious and there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.
make today count.
we love you, meme.