Game for just about anything, she was Room Mom to 3 different classes in 3 different grades for years, she hiked up mountains in Colorado and Wyoming even though she got mountain sickness, she was 3rd in her high school senior class because she didn’t want to be 1st or 2nd and, therefore, have to give a speech, she started college at 31- when her youngest child started first grade – finishing 4 years later with a near perfect GPA, she taught thousands of elementary and pre-school children, she loved liverwurst, she was David Fuller’s “Call a Friend Lifeline” should he get picked for “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, she had an infectious laugh and a beautiful smile, she prayed both her stubborn sons into their walk with the Lord and she had a combined gentle spirit and Type A/Perfectionist Determination.
Her name was Winifred Maxine but only my dad dared to call her “Winnie” as he teased her from time to time, family and close friends called her Max, co-workers called her Maxine, her students called her Mz Fuller, her grandchildren called her Mama Max, David and Danny called her Mom. To me, she was, and will always be, Mama.
She made “3 in 3 years” look easy. As the mother of “3 in 4 years” I know it’s not.
This picture was taken on the grounds of the Alamo in Summer 1962.
Sometime in the early part of this century, while living in Azle to be near my Muttie after my grandfather’s stroke, Mama began to have the first brushes with the dementia, TIAs and Alzheimer’s which ultimately took her mind and her life. Terry and I first noticed her inability to do things she’d once done well on Thanksgiving Day in 2003 when I realized she’d forgotten how to type and how to roll out pie crust. Some of my closest friends, to whom she was like a second mom, began to notice problems in 2006 and David joined the party in December 2007 while Terry and I were on our first cruise. We lost her a good while before she actually died. She said my name only once in her last 30 months of life.
I was born in Germany because she wanted to see Europe and figured joining Daddy at his duty station might be her only chance to get there. As it happens she was right. Her European adventure led to her first and only cruise and my first one. My parents and I sailed on a US Army transport ship from Germany in late August of 1958 arriving in New York Harbor in September. Both Mama and Daddy assured me it wasn’t the greatest of cruises but it got us where they wanted to be…home.
As Terry and I get ready to leave on another Christmas cruise my mind has turned to thoughts of Mama. She did so much for us. So much of my volunteering at church, our community, and in the school system is because she taught me to say yes not by her words but by her actions. Her 3 years in Azle helping her parents modeled how Terry and I took care of her during her illness. I hope I did all I could possibly do for her. I’d like to think I was a good daughter to her as well as being as a good role models for my girls, her granddaughters as she was for me.
Miss you, Mama. Wish you were cruising with us so you could share Chris’ wedding day on his Christmas Wedding Cruise .
How did it get to be 10 years since I last laughed with you, hugged you, kissed you? So much has happened in my life in these 10 years but when I close my eyes I’m transported back in time. We are at a GM Christmas party receiving a phone call to “come now” and Terry and I are rushing out of the Gaylord and heading to your hospice bedside for one last good-bye…which we missed.
Half due Monday night and half tonight and all delivered on Monday, this year’s Cookie Project is completed!
For the project:
Red Velvet Christmas Crinkles – 16 Dozen
Peppermint Meringues – 12 Dozen
Candy Cane Kisses – 6 Dozen
Chocolate Peppermint – 14 Dozen
Snickerdoodle – 14 Dozen
Sugar Cookies – 14 Dozen
Shortbread – 16 Dozen
M&M Cookies – 20 Dozen