Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Tribute

Grandma Mayola and Mr, Man
Over the weekend my grandmother Mayola passed, her services were yesterday. After the drive to my home town I enjoyed the chance to spend some time with the family I grew up with. My mom, aunts, uncles and my cousins  (really by first best friends) spent the better part of the day together. I think that I have mentioned gatherings at grandma's house before, they always bring back the memories that everyone should have about childhood and summer. We reminisced about the rules we were given that were almost never followed... "OK you kids go out and play but stay out of the barn... oh don't go near the street... and whatever you do don't play in the neighbor's abandoned cement truck!" yes, really there was one, it was just on the other side of the neighbors two burnt out cars (could there be a better childhood playground?)

The memories of a bunch of bathing suit clad moppets pulling rhubarb out of the ground, wiping the bits of dirt off, then eating the stalks dipped in a Dixie cup of sugar then using the ample leaves as umbrellas as we ran through the sprinkler. Or picking a bucket full of mulberries then sprinkling the warm sun ripened berries on home made vanilla ice-cream, none of us (not even the grown-ups) making a fuss about the purple stains on our hands, arms and clothes. We would swing on the tire swing and one of my favorites is the five of us playing in the diminutive pool that was there for our enjoyment...

Mayola was a bit of a conundrum, she was one of the quietest people that I have ever known but she managed to be the matriarch that held our entire family together. Any argument that arose between adults or children was quickly and peacefully resolved in seconds. She proved to me time and time again that any problem could be solved over a jig-saw puzzle and a glass of iced tea. The home that she created was the magnet that drew us all together year after year. As we all visited before the acutal funeral I realised that all of us had similar feelings and memories. She was a strong yet quiet influence on everyone in the room and I will miss her.

As her health diminished over the past few years the family time diminished, visits becoming less frequent. It makes me a little sad that my youngest two didn’t have the chance to see how that family dynamic worked. You see as Miss Lu and Mr. Man came into the picture Mayola’s health was beginning to fail, the family get togethers lost their status as almost required. Yesterday was a day spent with the kids I grew up with; I just hope that we don’t become one of those “wedding and funeral” families Mr. Man and Miss Lu deserve to share some of those memories.


  1. Bryan: So sorry to hear about the death of your grandmother. She obviously was a wonderful person and has left the family with many happy and loving memories. It is easy to drift apart and come together only on special occasions. I hope that your children have the opportunity to know that family.


  2. I'm sorry to hear your grandma passed on. Your childhood memories sound like you had a wonderful childhood and one I am sure you will pass on to your kids.
    My neighbour use to have an old meat freezer we were told never to play in (yeah right!).

  3. A wonderful tribute, Bryan. Lots of memories. Please accept my condolences.