365 Days Without You

Like many landmarks in our life, on the one hand, it seems like just yesterday, on the other hand, it’s like forever ago.

It’s been a year since my Mother-In-Law Marie was called to Glory. Every gathering that I’ve been to this year, Marie’s memory hugs us like a microfiber blanket before its first laundering. I’ve never heard anyone mention it, but I can sense her spirit among us and I know she’s smiling and laughing.

“What Ev Er”

This weekend Bess, Marie’s greatgrandgirl, (Yes, we Southerners say a good many things with no spaces) was given a 2nd Birthday Cookout/Moon Bounce Tho’Down. There was a purple castle Moon Bounce. There was Bobby boppin’ everybody on the head with an inflatable hammer. Hoss unplugged the moon bounce covertly, yet brazenly. The moon bounce began to collapse inward. Hearty Rednecks that we are, there are no shouts of hysterical surprise, just “Awwww, dang thangs done tore up!” Then Hoss plugs it back in and the moon bounce recovers and the kids troop back in. X2 looks at me and does his “that boy is crazy” head shaking laugh thing that we have been applying to Hoss since he was a boy. (So Bobby and Hoss are in their 30s, wanna make sumpin’ out of it?)

Now, Marie loved a party. Especially kids birthday parties. She would feel gypped if there were no party games. She loved to go to Dollar Tree and pick out prizes for the game winners. And, she was in charge of the cake. If you had other cake plans, then you were going to have two cakes. That’s okay by me, the more cake the merrier. I had a formal dress Tea Party/Make Over Sleep Over when Mel turned 11. Marie was there for the afternoon tea, chuckling along with a big smile just watching Mel and her girlfriends interact. She did not stay for the slumber party, Marie had a strict rule about driving after dark. She did not do it. No way, no how. Nada…..nuh uh…no.

Marie would have been in her element, in the big fat middle of it. She’d have grabbed Bess every time she passed in grabbing distance and plant a big ol’ smooch on her, leaving a pink lip print on Bess’ plump cheek. She’d bend over Kyle in his jaunty rocketship walker and get slobbery cheeto kissykisses every few minutes. “Put some shoes on, Hon,” she’d plead with Shelly, who is running around barefooted with ice still in the shadows. Maybe she did do these things. I think I saw a smooch print on Bess’ cheek. A skeptic might call it a mild case of windburn. I say it’s an angel kiss.

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