If you know me then you know that I really love my Memaw. She was as close to perfect as I think someone can be. It was eight years ago today that she died from cancer. So I’m doing my best to spend the day thinking about all the fun sweet times that we had with her.
One of my favorite stories to tell about Memaw happened when I was about eight or nine. During the summer my cousin and I stayed with her while our parents were at work. For us, every Friday was Food Lion day. She would pack my cousin and I up in the gigantic blue Lincoln town car that we called “the boat” and then we would head to Food Lion and spend what felt like an eternity buying groceries.
This particular week my aunt and younger cousin joined us, so five of us were in the boat headed to shop. As we were shopping Memaw went to grab the big bag of ruffles potato chips from the display and there was a really nice gold bracelet laying on the shelf of the display. Memaw was an honest person so she took it straight to the front desk where the manager was on a perch guarding the tobacco and watching the entire store.
For whatever reason, the manager refused to take it. He said that he couldn’t take it there was no lost and found so she should figure out another way to return it. I was too young to understand but whatever the case, we ended up stuck with it. Memaw decided to hang out a little while longer and see if she could see someone that looked like they had lost something. After a while it was obvious that no one was coming for the bracelet.
Now I’m not exactly sure how this happened, I guess this gentleman overheard Memaw talking to the manager but he approached us and offered to buy the bracelet. While it really doesn’t seem like something that Memaw would do, she agreed. I don’t know how much he offered to pay but I do remember that he didn’t have the cash on him and he told us that we would need to follow him to his bank so he could get the money. Even at eight years old this didn’t sound like a safe idea to me, but we did it. I don’t know if my aunt talked her into it or if she just needed the money but we followed this guy to his bank and the whole ride there I’m wondering if this guy is taking us somewhere to kill us.
Fortunately the guy wasn’t a murderer and he went in and got the cash, we gave him the bracelet and the deal was done. Here’s the cool thing about Memaw, she wasn’t like you and me, her first thought was not to pocket the money and buy herself something. I’ll never forget it - she had the money in her hand she turned around to her three grandkids and said “we’re going to Ryan’s.” I still remember sitting there at Ryan’s steakhouse and us all laughing the entire time about how stupid it was to follow a stranger to the bank to sell someone’s gold bracelet that we found in a ruffles potato chips display. But it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had and I can still hear Memaw laughing and saying “I can’t believe we did that.” But one of the greatest things about Memaw that this story reminds me of, is how whenever there was any “extra”, whether it be time or money or food, her first thought was to give it to her grandkids.
She loved us good.