Life as a mom who has her hands full
There are so many memories that I have of her. So many blurred, Kodachrome memories etched into my subconscious of muggy New Orleans nights, white beans and rice, and manicured fingernails. Visiting her in the elementary school, the smell of fresh textbooks permeating the heat of August. The memory of her voice, her melodious “hello”, still lingers in my ears long after her own voice grew silent. There were the crawfish boils, the kingcake parties, and the smell of what I know only in my mind as “grandma’s house”. It is because of her that I had the family everyone envies. Each family gathering was an adventure, each time together was a party. When the Christmas table grew too crowded, she just kept adding more tables. Soon, there were 27 of us huddled together on holidays thankful for each other, grateful to be a part of this family. Each memory stronger than the last.
At first the strokes only took her freedom, her independence, but then they started to take her mind. That forgetful far off look replaced the laugh lines on her face and each year we watched as she slipped further and further away from us. After the strokes started to come more frequently, we knew we were loosing her.
Yet, I can not complain, I can not raise my voice in anger. I have had a lifetime of memories with her that few people my age are lucky enough to treasure. I will cry, and I will mourn. I will think of her daily and miss her always. I will tell my children stories of her, wonderful stories of times long ago forgotten. They will only know her through me….and that is okay, it will have to be. For the memories of her will linger long after she is gone and her legacy will live on in each of us. For as hard as it is loosing Ella, knowing her was worth it.
In loving memory of my grandmother, Ella Louis Templet…God Speed.