The last time Jaymz, Daniel, and I visited her (at the beginning of June) she didn't recognize us, and she was too fatigued to carry on a conversation, so we didn't take any photographs together that day.
One of the previous times we visited was the day we took the photos in this post. We sat around together, chatting and sharing breakfast and coffee in her little apartment at the assisted living facility she moved to in Seattle several years ago. I really enjoyed spending such quality time with Mabel that day. In particular, witnessing her joy in spending time with baby Daniel filled my heart to the brim.
I have many lovely memories of visiting Mabel and Benson (who died several years ago) in their family home in Ruston, Louisiana. Mabel would make coffee twice a day every day at the same time for anyone who would drink it—her version of tea time. There was always a full jar of Little Debbie snack cakes on the counter in the kitchen, and we were allowed to have one at coffee time (but only one!) even though they came wrapped in packs of two.
I'm grateful for all the ways my grandmother enriched my life, including being my first inspiration to take up crocheting. (She looked on as I worked through the earliest stages of Daniel's afghan during a visit to Seattle when I was pregnant with him.) Mabel made so many beautiful things throughout her life, including a handmade Christmas ornament for every one of her grandchildren for 18 years each. I'm pretty sure that when she began this tradition, she had no idea that she would end up with so many grandchildren! (Of her four kids, my father's family had the fewest number of children: three.)
After my grandfather died, Mabel suddenly (re-?)discovered her mellow side, and she was much more relaxed and openly affectionate and emotional after that. It was as if she had held on so tightly for so long as she cared for Benson (maybe a little more than he needed) in the nearly fifty years he lived after surviving colon cancer.
Spending time with her in the past few years was a whole new experience. I'm glad we happened to live close enough to visit several times, and that she got to meet Daniel and spend time with him on several occasions.
|Mabel egging Daniel on, getting him to "honk" her nose.|