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, was David Fuller’s Call a Friend Lifeline, had an infection laugh, 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” 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 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. 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 close friends 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.
As we get ready to leave on another Christmas cruise my mind has turned to thoughts of her. She did so much for us. 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 a good role models for my girls, her granddaughters.
Miss you, Mama.
I used to say that when I grew older/old I wanted to be my Muttie. She was funny, beautiful, smart, kind and made every grandchild feel as though he or she was her favorite. I’ll never be as thin and gorgeous as she was, my skin will never look 30 years younger than it really is, I don’t spend the bulk of my time working in my yard but I like to think I can cook and bake along the same skill lines as she did.
I was her oldest grandchild and for nearly 13 years I was her only granddaughter. I used to ride my bike to her house and spend the day following her around, helping her work in the kitchen, in the yard, sew or whatever else she showed me. I heard stories, shared giggles and thought I was pretty special to get the time with her without The Boys and/or our cousins. I was sad to see Muttie and DadDo move to Eagle Mountain Lake because it put an end to my hanging with Muttie days.
This is one of my favorite pictures of her. It was taken on Christmas Day 2000. It shows the love she had for her family, even family who were brought in, not born into, it. He loved her right back.
Muttie died 8 years ago tonight. She was ready. I was not. We buried her in a Texas snowstorm. She would have thought it was hilarious.