October 6 marked one year since my Momaw Bertie (short for Roberta) made her trip to Heaven. The second of my grandmothers to leave us. It was a sad day down here for us, and I miss her so much.
Charlotte calls her "Nammie Bird" whenever she remembers her. It makes me smile because I guess she thought we were calling her Momaw Birdie. Don't you just love the way kids interpret things?
After she passed away, my mom brought me a few things that belonged to Momaw. She brought my girls a china doll apiece, because Momaw collected them. I let the girls admire their pretty dresses and their shiny curls, and then I put them up carefully out of reach, for when they're a little bit older. Parker got a few things that belonged to her too. I didn't want anything in particular, just a little something that belonged to her that was also useful to me and had a special memory associated with it.
So my mom brought me a few of her coffee cups. They're the perfect gifts, and they are the perfect memories.
I never remember my Momaw having anyone over without a fresh pot of coffee brewing. I never drank any of her coffee, strangely enough, because I didn't drink it much back in those days. But I remember the way she tucked her cup between her hands. Her cups weren't fancy. She picked them up at yard sales and Kmarts and the Goodwill. But they were hers. They were small, teacup size. And I use these beautiful gems every week. I think of her every morning and hope she's having a wonderful time in Heaven.
I remember spending the night at her house many times, and waking up on her overstuffed pillows in her tall cushy beds, covered in quilts so warm, yet cool to the touch. There were always unforgettable smells of bacon frying, her famous biscuits baking and coffee brewing. She and Mom would be in the kitchen talking, sipping hot coffee out of milky white mugs. Popaw Lucian would come in, covered in lawn clippings or sawdust, always working first thing before it got too hot outside.
I served my mother-in-law coffee in one of these precious cups when she was visiting us last month. Charlotte smiled up at her Grandma Nancy and said, "Dat was my Nammie Bird's coffee cup. She wivs up in Heaven wif Jesus."
Do you think that there is coffee in Heaven? God is a good God, you know. :)
Not because we'd need the caffeine, of course, nor because we'd ever be thirsty. But because it's enjoyable and warm and it brings folks to the kitchen table (or the counter, at Momaw and Popaw's house) for another serving of warmth and laughter and togetherness.
I can't wait to enjoy Heaven with my Nammie Bird someday. I hope she will have a fresh pot of coffee ready for me.