Today would have been my Momaw’s birthday.
She never forgot mine. Or Chris’s. Or any of the kids. She and Popaw always mailed a card (with money tucked inside), and it was a guarantee that it would arrive either before or on our actual birthday. Her last week here on the earth, we were lucky enough to FaceTime with her in the hospital, and as sick as she was, she said, “Oh no, I haven’t forgotten a lost tooth or a birthday, have I?” Bless her sweet heart. Always thinking of us.
She passed away on Valentine’s Day of this year. I find myself dreaming of her today, remembering her kind voice and her positive attitude. I am thinking of her tiny flower garden, and the stories she would tell me about the plants in it. Buttercups, red roses, and pink and red bleeding hearts spilling over the broken sidewalk.
I wish I could grow bleeding hearts here. (And peonies. And clematis.) Unfortunately, it’s a bit too hot and humid for these pretties to thrive down here, but they will remain in my memory as the most poetically beautiful flowers in the world.
I also remember her shenanigans. Once she “baked” a sponge cake for someone (I can’t remember who, just now) when I was just a girl. She put this big round piece of sponge on a plate, and covered it in chocolate icing. After we sang Happy Birthday, she handed the knife to the guest of honor, and urged him to cut the first slice. We got the biggest laugh out of that sponge on a plate. My mom was afraid to cut into Momaw’s birthday cakes for years after that.
I don’t remember if she ever tried this in my presence, but she used to giggle about putting a tiny inflated balloon down the center of an angel food cake, and then frosting over the whole thing to hide the balloon. When the knife popped that balloon, there would be an awful mess to clean up… but goodness I can just see her slapping her knee now.
If Momaw were still alive today, I’d bring her over a sponge cake and a card, and we’d eat cake and drink 7-up, and I’d bottle up her pretty laugh to listen to on days when I miss her too much. Like today.