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This morning I had the most amazing memory.
Ma and Nanny are my husbands Mother and Grandmother. He has always called his grandmother Ma, Elizabeth was her name(most called her Gibby) and our children call his Mother, Nanny, Doris is her name.
Except for the years Nanny was married, she has lived with her Mother, Ma. They did everything together.
My husband was raised in a home with with 5 women. He was the only male!
There was...Granny Maude, Ma, Nanny, Mary Faye and then Mary’s daughter Wendy. Poor Feller!
Ma always did all the cooking. She was an amazing woman. She cooked, cleaned, ironed, raised the kids and took care of Granny Maude, while Nanny worked and worked very hard.

My husband and I have been married for 22 years. His family is very tight. It was really hard for them to let me squeeze in, but they finally did after a few years.

We moved away when our daughter was only 3 and I knew that our holidays would never be the same. So, I was determined to carry on the same holiday traditions that mine and my husband’s family shared. I had to figure out how to incorporate traditions from both families.
It was a challenge, he has a huge family and I have a huge family. Now, it was just us and our two children.

Ma made the most amazing homemade cornbread dressing and was ever so kind to share her recipe with me. If it wasn’t Ma’s dressing James wasn’t having it. I still have the same piece of paper the recipe was written on and the year 1991. It’s worn and wrinkled, and has stains all over it. Thank goodness, I only have to take a quick glance at it now, but for years, we would read it over and over and call Ma to make sure we were doing things right.
The one tradition that we started when our children were very young was, every Thanksgiving morning, my husband would call Ma and tease her to no end. He would always tell her that (HE) meaning me, already had our food prepared and ready to go. He would tell her that his dressing was better than hers, go on to ask, Am I going to have to go to NC and show you how to make dressing? She’d say, Big Boy if you think you can make it better, come on. They would go on and on about this for a couple of hours. All the while, I would be in the background saying, don’t listen to him Ma, he didn’t cook the dressing, I did! Oh how she enjoyed him teasing her like that. I guess I didn’t really realize how much we enjoyed it, until right now.
We lost Ma in August of 2005, I knew our Thanksgivings would never be the same without those phone calls. The memory of her has never been as wonderful as it is right now as I write these words. The last two Thanksgivings, we would think about her and talk about past years and how we teased her, the fun, memories, the laughing for 2 hours every Thanksgiving morning.
I knew this, but I guess it has just now sunk in, that all we have now are those memories. I miss her, and I miss waking up on Thanksgiving, telling my Husband to hurry up and call Ma!
As my husband and I, sit here, right this minute with tears in our eyes. We know that Ma’s cornbread dressing and those memories will be with us for many, many years to come.
The funny thing is.....until a couple of years ago. My sister in law actually believed that James (my husband) cooked the dressing. He had convinced them that HIS dressing was the best. But, Ma knew, she knew what a little devil he was! haha
We love you Ma and thank you for sharing with us.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • I took this picture of the butterfly on my butterly tree this summer. She’s beautiful!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • Lisa,
      Thank you for sharing your memories. My Thanksgivings are always bitter sweet too. We lost our son Joshua on Nov 19th, 1998. This is always a difficult time of the year for me. I do believe that losing Joshua was the stress that started many of the health challenges I have. It also is part of the driving force for me when I get discouraged and want to give up sharing with people about taking control of their own health.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Nov 16, 2008
    • Happy, I am so sorry for your loss. Hearing about your son let’s me know what an amazingly strong woman you are. I sometimes wonder if I would be able to carry on if I were to lose one of mine. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.



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