Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tribute Tuesday-They Called Her Monnie

For those expecting a 'Steelers History' story, I'm sorry but it has been preempted. Instead, another story, much closer to my heart will take it's place.

I want to thank Wayne for this idea and I'm sorry it's slightly late, but I'm sure folks will understand that we in the 'Sneaky' household were dealing with many things.

My Grandmother in Love was 75 as she died this Saturday Morning.

As an almost middle aged man, I spent over half a decade without my grandparents, before I met my wife, Jill. The last grandparent had died in 2000, but the ones that I literally grew up with died before I had graduated college. I knew I was lucky to have them for as long as I did. But, the loss of them did not hurt any less with that knowledge.

So, when I met her grandparents I was proud to count them as my family. All three of them touched my heart and my mind in several ways. Maybe the most unique of them all was the one they called "Monnie." I was told that it was pronounced 'money' and it was easy to remember because she was very giving of her money. She was a very short lady with an easy smile and country tone in her voice. Hearing her made me think of scrambled eggs on the grill and bacon smoking in the background. When God gave her that voice, He knew this lady had to be a grandmother.

As I got to know her I realized one thing about her almost instantaneous...her world was black and white. Right or wrong is what dominated her thoughts, actions, and opinions. In a world that we live in, where so many would love for you to compromise your values, she was not conforming to it. Some would say she was stubborn, I believe she was stalwart in her beliefs.

As I grieved with my new family over the passing of my wife to be's other grandmother, she cooked enough for all those staying in that house for the next 14 days. She and Ben, her husband, were givers in their community..whether it was to befriend a man with no home and give him one free of charge or to give a meal they were there.

For me, I guess I will always remember four things about Monnie.

One, she always considered me a grandson. Even though our time was short in the same family, she would always speak highly of me. I had other people that I'd never met during this hard week saying, "Oh, you're him." It was humbling that I meant so much to this lady in whom I also had a high opinion for.

Second, my wife and sister in law's relationship with Monnie was beyond good. They spoke the same language. They sensed the same things. There is a picture of them in my mind that I hope will remain with me until my dying day of the three of them sitting on a couch looking at old recipes. It was like, for just a moment, a photograph still in time. I guess I knew that moment was special even as it was happening.

Thirdly, she made the most unbelievably fabulous mashed potatoes in the entire world. She was a master cook that could do anything with a pan and some heat. Thanksgiving or Christmas usually was six or seven different pans going with different food products getting steamed, boiled, cooked, or roasted. She was like a conductor with a fine orchestra. When the food got to your plate, there was never any sour notes.

Finally, Spuds. Her Boston Terrier that was her 'four legged child' for seventeen years. Their relationship transcended the usual owner/pet relationship. As he got sick, she cared for him and nurtured him. Uncle Spuds passed on the day after Monnie's death.

A wonderful lady who gave this world a lot of love over the last 75 years...and I sure wish it could've been longer.



Mama SeWELL said...

What a awesome tribute to a special lady in both of your lives. Theres something about grandmothers, they know exactly what to say & when to say it. And they also can make any situation better with a little heart to heart and some good cooking.

The Thompson's said...

What a VERY special lady she was. Thanks for sharing her with us in this way. I know she is smiling down knowing that she left this world a better place, and proud to have called you her grandson.

Our love and prayers are with the sneaky family during this time.


Wayne said...

What a great tribute to a super woman. she sounds so amazing.

Thankyou so much fpr taking part in tribute tuesday

Wayne said...

And I am sorry to here of your loss Im sure she is watching over you right now. this is a tribute worthy of her

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

This is beautiful, hon. Monnie would have been so proud. She loved you so much. :)

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds truly amazing. Thank you for sharing her special story.

Nikki B. said...

Beautiful...and that's all I have to say about that...