Friday, August 13, 2010
Please Remeber Me
That is my grandmother in the middle. Her name is Betty Louise Bruce Lively Burns. She was born a Bruce, married my Papaw, a Lively and after he went to be with Jesus, she married a Burns who has since gone on to be with Jesus as well. My grandmother "Nanny" as we all call her happens to be one of my favorite relatives. This woman and I are so much alike in so many ways it's almost scary but I have always embraced that much to the dismay of my stepmother.
My Nanny grew up very poor, in and uneducated family. Her father was a drunk and her mother was a Penacostal women, not sure how this happens but they were a pair to see. He would sit on the front porch of the shack they called a house, smoking cigarettes without any teeth, every other word was G.D. or S.O.B but this was Papa. Grandma Jewel on the other hand once got kicked out of a Baptist church for "catching the Holy Ghost" and speaking in tongues.
My Nanny had a child at a very early age and soon after that met my very older Papaw. They fell in love. She told me the story of how they met not long ago. It was the first time I had heard that story in the 31 years I have been alive. It's amazing the details she remembered. She could recall what he wore when they met, who she was there with, who he was there with,etc. There has never been a doubt in my mind that she was in love with him and him with her but the story just confirmed it even more.
It was hard being married. My Nanny was pregnant 7 times and ended up with 5 children out of those pregnancies. They lived in a house with no running water and no electricity. They worked hauling hay, picking cotton and just about anything else that they could do in order to make ends meet. I have always admired that about my Nanny and my Papaw and even that quality in my dad.
By the time I could first remember anything, my grandparents lived in town, in the house that they live in now. My Papaw was a carpenter and my Nanny was a CNA at a nursing home, though they use to not have a name or a title. My Papaw took care of the cows at the cow lot, they both took care of the 2 gardens they grew and my Nanny loved her yard. There are probably 30 trees in that yard and at one time there were even more. She had plants and rose bushes and we would follow her around watering them. She had a green thumb that wouldn't quit.
As they got older, my Papaw got sick and ended up having a stroke. My Nanny and my Aunt Rachel took care of him. It was so hard seeing him like that. I hated it and so did he. He got mean, not because he just wanted to act like a jackass but his entire life he had spent working and taking care of those he loved. Taking care of those he loved cost him a farm he worked so hard for, now here he was unable to do anything for himself.
My Nanny's health got worse and the yard, well it didn't look the way it use to look and the house didn't look the way it once did. There was a garden but most of the time she had to have someone else work in it for her. She spent her time taking care of Troy, her second husband, before he went to be with Jesus and now it's just her. She is unable to do much for herself now and it's quit sad since I can remember her being outside helping us catch lightening bugs, she was the one who scared us with the Halloween mask aka the Booger Man Mask, he helped my mom dump the neighbor's pig (a story in itself), she would stop on the side of the road to pick wild plums or if she saw a vacant house with a pretty flowering bush in the front, she would take us can pole fishing and down to the river for a swim.
I am going to see my Nanny tomorrow. Part of me feels so bad inside because I promised my Papaw I would make sure my Nanny was taken care of and if it was not for my Aunt Rachel, I wonder if she would be? Out of her kids, 2 live in the same town and my Aunt Rachel is moving back there in order to take care of my Nanny. My Uncle Ricky mows the yard and Rachel does mostly the other stuff since she herself is sick. I don't have millions of dollars though I wish that I did for her sake and I don't live close, which I wish I did for her sake. It makes me mad at my family and it makes me mad at myself but only each one of us can change how we are doing things.
Right now is the hottest month in a Texas summer yet my Nanny won't run her window unit because it will make her light bill too high and she won't be able to pay it. I am going to be checking into some assistance for that. We are so quick to forget those who really need us the most in life and it is quite sad.
After my Papaw died Tim McGraw made a song "Please Remember Me". My Nanny once told me that song reminded her of my Papaw because she wanted to make sure she never forgot him. For me, it reminds me of her because it almost seems like everyone has forgotten her.
I love you Nanny and I will try to do better I promise.