So fragile, but so enduring.

I’ve been missing for awhile, but I’ve been trying to find my words.

Meemaw died yesterday, at the age of 80.

If you’ve read here long enough then you already know meemaw.  She’s Victor’s grandmother and she (and her late husband) helped to raise Victor, offering him a loving home and a sense of compassion and generosity that has kept him from strangling me over the years.    We were lucky enough to be able to move Meemaw down to live by us last year, so we could spend more time with her, but a lot of that time was spent in hospital rooms as she battled cancer and heart and lung problems.

Meemaw had a penchant for telling her favorite stories over and over, but she told them with such joy that we always laughed like it was the first time.  Sometimes it was the story about Victor getting his head stuck in a fence at Disneyland.   Sometimes it was about breaking her back after falling out of a moving jeep while shooting at rabbits.  Sometimes it was about picking cotton, or rolling cigarettes, or digging up a corpse, or meeting the man of her dreams as a 17-year-old waitress and marrying him 10 days later, or traveling the world as the wife of a career soldier, or making dresses from feed sacks.

A few weeks ago, family gathered around her hospital bed and she started to tell one of her favorite stories that we’d all heard so many times we could each mouth the words.

“When we were little,” she said, “mama would sometimes give all us kids a fresh-laid egg.  And we’d walk for miles down the road toward town, each cradling our egg in our hands.  There were six of us kids…”  She trailed off as she lost her breath and we waited patiently.  She looked a bit lost and after a moment her sister gently laid her hand on her arm and smiled widely as she picked up the story exactly where meemaw had left off.

“There were six of us kids and we’d walk into town because we could trade in our egg at the main store for a cold Pepsi.  We always chose Pepsi because it came in a bigger bottle and we could make it last all the way home if we sipped it slowly.  On really special days mama might give us two eggs and then we felt like we were rich because we could buy peanuts to go with our Pepsi.”

Meemaw smiled gratefully and nodded as she picked up the end.  “And in all those years, none of us ever dropped a single egg.”

It was the last time I ever heard her tell that story.

It was also the best time though, and I don’t know if I can do justice in explaining why.  Partially it was seeing the caring sparkle in both of their eyes as they recalled the story, but it was more than that.  It was seeing that even in her last days, as meemaw struggled to carry her egg, someone she loved caught it and carried it safely home.  She never dropped her egg.

It struck me that sometimes an egg is not egg.  Sometimes an egg is a story.  Sometimes it’s a shared secret, or a sweet relief, or a treasured memory or learned lesson.  Meemaw carried so many fragile eggs with her throughout her life, keeping them safe until she could hand them over to people she loved.  Sometimes the eggs contained kindness, or generosity.  Sometimes they were lessons in patience.  Sometimes they were lessons on the importance of family.  Sometimes they were late-night milkshakes, or handmade quilts, or staying up through the night to rock you to sleep when you had a fever.  Meemaw gave me two things:  (1) She taught me that you don’t always have to get even.  Sometimes you just have to get quiet.  (Because when you get really quiet that’s when people start to feel anxious and regret being jerks and then you’ve gotten even with them without actually doing anything at all.)  And more importantly (2) she gave me Victor.  Or rather, she instilled in Victor a sense of joy and love and generosity that made him able to be a wonderful husband and dedicated father.    And Victor protects those values she taught him and we carry them to pass them on to our daughter, who may one day pass them on to those she loves.

Sometimes an egg is not an egg.  Sometimes an egg is a life.  Sometimes an egg is a lesson.  Sometimes an egg is a gift.

Even in death, meemaw never dropped her egg.  She simply passed it on to us so that we can continue to gently carry it with us as we each walk down our own paths using the lessons she gave us.

May we all be so lucky.

PS.  This is the song meemaw chose to be played at her funeral this weekend.  I can’t listen to it and not smile.

Godspeed, Doris Jean Cantrell.

small doris cantrell

678 thoughts on “So fragile, but so enduring.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I’m so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and Victor and your family. She sounds like she was a fantastic lady; the world was better for having had her in it.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your Meemaw. She will be missed and yet she lives on through your writing, words, and memory. She sounds like a very special lady. I’ll send positive thoughts and prayers to your family.

  3. That was so beautiful. Keeping your family in my thoughts. She sounds like she was one hell of a lady!

  4. I am so sorry for your family’s great loss. Your tribute to her is beautiful. May she rest in peace. Big hugs to all.

  5. She lived an amazing life, and for that we should all work harder at ignoring the ugly and focusing on not dropping that precious egg!! My sweet amazing grandmother, Alyne Hudson Woodring is waiting for her and can’t wait to share the tales!
    Love to you, hug Victor!!
    Kathryn

  6. That was beautifully said. Thank you for sharing a little bit of her. Am sending you gentle hugs to help you carry that egg

  7. So much love. And isn’t that what life is really all about? My heart goes to you and your family.

  8. She sounds like a fabulous woman. How great it must be to have shared your life with someone so beautiful. Sending prayers and love your way. Stay strong.

  9. Send love and light. And appreciating the eggs you carried and didn’t drop but put safely into hands all over the internet <3

  10. Jenny, thank you for sharing such a wonderful story even though you’re hurting so very much. My thoughts & prayers are with you & all of your family.

  11. My sympathies, Jenny. She sounds like a wonderful woman. May she rest in peace forever in your memories and hearts. x

  12. A beautiful woman who has had a full and beautiful life. May she rest peacefully, and may you and yours revel in the joy and gift of having her in your lives. Peace sent to you and Victor and Ms. Cantrell’s entire clan.

  13. Sending you all the love in the world at this very sad time for you all. Especially to Victor, thank you MeeMaw for being the person you were, so that we ended up with Jenny and her family, and the joy and laughter and light that she gives us.

  14. Oh Jenny. I’m so sorry for your loss and so happy that you’ve had the fortune to have such a love like Meemaw in your life. May we all be so blessed.

  15. Have you thought about writing all her stories as a book? Because I sure would like to hear more about them. She sounds like a great lady, I’m sorry for y’all’s loss.

  16. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Jenny. What a beautiful tribute to her. I really love that story and am now pondering how long my boys could carry a raw egg unscathed. (I’m guessing they wouldn’t make it to the front door. We have work to do.) Thinking of you as you grieve.

  17. Beautifully written, Jenny, and beautiful thoughts. You were lucky to have her, and she was lucky to be so treasured. And really, digging up a corpse? You were kindred spirits! RIP.

  18. So wonderful, and don’t you know a woman like that would sigh so happily knowing she inspired writing like this. I think you made us all remember the best of everyone we’ve lost, and everyone we still have time to appreciate before we lose them. Her gift to you never has to end…it’s been paid forward…

  19. Godspeed, indeed. My heartfelt condolences, Jenny, on your family’s loss. Meemaw carried those eggs so carefully through the years; she could not have deposited them in better hands than you and yours. May you continue carrying them for her and smile with happy memories of her when you do.

  20. She’s beautiful. So glad your daughter had the chance to know her Meemaw. Sending comforting thoughts to you, Victor, and the rest of Meemaw’s family.

  21. I’m so sorry for your loss. How wonderful for her though, that you could send her off from such a long, storied life surrounded by such deep love. I believe there is no better way to honor our storytellers than to tell their stories for them after they’re gone. Thanks to your wonderful generosity in opening up and sharing your life with us, Meemaw will live on in so many hearts, forever glowing and smiling. Thank you.

  22. What a wonderful message, and what great memories to share of an incredible woman. My deepest sympathy. May your family find peace during this difficult time.

  23. Such beautiful words, you made me cry and think of how much I love my 90 year old mom. You did Mee Maw proud.

  24. Jenny, I am so very sorry for your and your family’s loss. It is a privilege to have the closeness with our parents and grandparents – they really do give us a gift that we carry with us forever. DH’s grandmother passed away in 2009, and we still miss her all the time. But I’m so grateful we had the time with her, and didn’t squander it.

    You gave Meemaw an egg too – of your time, your love, and your family. That generosity of spirit goes both ways, and makes everyone richer,

    My condolences.

  25. Oh meemaw…sometimes an egg is the twinkle in someone’s eye when they lay their eyes on the people they love. I’m thinking meemaw has several eggs in her eyes about now…probably always did. Love to you, my Jenny.

  26. Nicely said, and a gentle reminder to us all to treasure those times when the egg is handed to us. I’m saddened for your loss and I hope you and your family will remember her with a smile and a warm feeling in your heart.

  27. I’m also sorry for your family’s loss, however I can promise you that those eggs will slowly begin to fill in the empty feeling you have with joy as you continue to share those stories and memories of who Meemaw is to you.

    With love,
    MG’s Meemaw

  28. May her memory be for a blessing.

    My heart goes out to you, Jenny, and perhaps I understand more than most. We began home hospice for my 93 year old father-in-law this last week; his ticker is giving out. He came to live with us in ’04, and after my husband, his only child, passed away in ’09, he continued to live with me. Well, he’s hoping to hang on just a few more weeks to see his first great-grandchild.

    May you and Victor and the rest of the family tell her stories often and with love. Every time you tell one, she lives on.

    http://wifelyperson.blogspot.com/

  29. Thank you for sharing these special and tender moments. They make me smile. I understand loss too well and my heart goes out to your entire family. I believe those final moments are a gift, and you were chosen to be there. How lucky is THAT!!
    Maybe your next book will be her stories. I for one would buy it! Take care and be very gentle to yourself for awhile. My condolences to you all.

  30. Such a beautiful post and a beautiful woman. I’m so sorry for your loss and hope all is well. I’ll be praying for you and your family and it’s nice to hear how someone affected your life in such a wonderful way. God bless (even if you don’t believe in all that) and since I’m Catholic I’ll pray a rosary for her. She seemed like a badass lady.

  31. A touching piece that’s just had me crying with sadness and joy at the same time, my sincere condolences to Viktor, yourself and the family, it sounds like the world just lost someone beautiful.

  32. We could all hope to live a life so full of adventure like your Meemaw. So many stories and memories she could relive. What a lovely post Jenny. Sending you hugs and strength at this time. xx

  33. I’m so happy that you got so much joy from her. She still lives on through Victor, and through the happiness and other gifts she gave you and your family.

  34. What a wonderful tribute to a woman who clearly meant so much. Thank you for reminding all of us to appreciate the loved ones we have in our lives. Thinking of your family during such a sad time.

  35. As I was reading this, a melancholy song by Des’ree was playing and, of course, I teared up. At least 3 times a week I do medical reports where someone has passed. Young or old, sick or sudden, it’s always sad. I’m sorry for your loss, but also happy for your life’s gain of having someone who sounded like such a wonderful woman in it. As I finished reading, Pitbull’s Timber song came on the iPhone shuffle, the tears got wiped away, and I had to laugh at the timing. Take care!

  36. Beautiful post, Jenny. Thank you for sharing such a special part of your lives….I send prayers and virtual hugs to you and Victor and your entire family….

  37. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. I love the story of the egg and the true meaning. Sending you and your family big hugs and wishes for peaceful days ahead.

  38. What a lovely tribute. I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers, now more than ever.

  39. God Bless such a wonderful lady, and big, huge, bear hugs to you & your family. Those stories are so precious. My grandpa came to the US from Denmark in1918 when he was 16. He didn’t talk about the old country much, he believed once he was American this was his home & he loved this country.
    When I was 10 he got very sick, and my dad & aunt finally got him talking, & recorded some stories. My favorite is when he & his siblings ran home from school they had to cross a bridge. At that time in Denmark kids wore wooden shoes & threats of Trolls were not taken lightly. Before getting to the bridge they’d all remove their shoes, hold hands & run as fast as they could across the bridge so the troll wouldn’t get them.
    It’s things like this I treasure so, so much.

  40. My husband’s Grandma sounds a lot like Meemaw. She was a Holocaust survivor who lost all but a few of her family members to concentration camps. She was happy and kind and considerate and never, ever bitter. She would tell us the same sweet stories over and over. She had a story about a German shepherd that was the family dog before the war the I smile just thinking about. And she would say things in such a slightly different way, English was her fourth language. Ah, I miss her all the time and I only knew her for five years, but I am a better person for having known her.

  41. I’m so happy that she was able to be loved and love for so many amazing years. I’m so sorry for your loss, and my thoughts are prayers are with you. How lucky Hailey is to be able to carry the legacy of love and care that she passed on.

  42. I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. I couldn’t read this post without tearing up, after losing my own very much loved Nana last year. Much much love to you and yours xxx

  43. I’m so sorry you all lost your dear meemaw. From your stories and pictures you shared, I can tell she was an amazing and loving woman. She will never really be gone, though. You will see her in Hailey’s eyes at an unexpected moment, and know that she will always be with you.

  44. I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. Meemaw sounds like a very special woman and she certainly passed her eggs on to the people that she loved, and that loved her. May the good memories soon overpower the not so good, and may her stories always bring a twinkle to your (and Victor and your daughter’s) eyes.

  45. I’m so sorry about your loss she sounded like an awesome lady <3 I too am struggling with losing a grandparent, it's the part of being an adult no one tells you about and any advice is usless at best ;-/ Id you'd like to take a peek at my blog I touch on my loss , it's basically the only therapy that helps me right now because this kind of loss is one that is so devastating it requires you to heal from the inside out. Much love.

    ~Robin

  46. Normally you make me laugh until I cry- with this post it was a little bit of the reverse. I lost my mom recently, so I very much understand when you say you’ve been trying to find your words, yet somehow you managed to say it beautifully. Thank you.

  47. I want John Fogerty’s Rock And Roll Girls played at my funeral. And nobody is allowed to wear a suit or a dress, strictly graphic t shirts and blue jeans.

  48. May Angels Fly Thee Home… Can’t be sad about a life lived so fully, but still the tears for the missing of her yet to come. I miss my meemaw still.

  49. I am sorry for you and your beautiful family’s loss. You were all so very lucky to have had her in your lives for a long time. I lost my grandparents when I was young but I had my great grandmother until I was in my early 20’s. She too had wonderful stories to tell and I have been telling them to my children for years. She passed her egg to me and I get to pass it to my children and I hope it continues to be passed and never dropped. Prayers for all of you to get through this.

  50. I’m so very sorry for your loss. She sounds like a she was a real character, lovely and loving. And her choice of music for her funeral is perfect. You, Victor and your family will be in my thoughts during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  51. So many sympathies for your loss, she will always be with you in your memories, as your grief passes those memories will bring you both joy and inspiration.

  52. I’m so sorry. Three weeks ago, my mother in law passed away. My sister in law lives in Alaska, and we had to wait for her to get to AZ before we turned off the machines that were keeping her body alive. We didn’t get any last stories from my mother in law, but watching her children gather around her as her heart stopped beating, was so very humbling. Death sucks for those of us left behind. I hope that you can grow closer to each other. Hugs and good thoughts coming your way.

  53. That is a beautiful tribute for what was surely a wonderful woman and life well lived. Thank you for sharing her with us. Sending light and love.

  54. My Mom passed less than four weeks ago and my heart is still breaking every day. Thank you for the story. I feel less alone. And you put into words, or eggs, what I haven’t been able to see or say – she’s carrying on. Sending prayers to everyone who knew and loved your Meemaw.

  55. I’m so sorry for your loss. Meemaw sounds like she was a true blessing to your family. Sending light and love to you and yours while you mourn her passing.

    I also think a book of Meemaw’s stories would be terrific!

  56. I don’t ever leave a comment usually but often read and you frequently move me to laughter and brighten my day. Today your beautiful tribute has brought a tear to my eye and I want to send you my heartfelt condolences and wish for your to pass on that egg unbroken.

  57. I’m am so sorry for loss of your family’s Meemaw, she sounds so lovely, your words are a beautiful tribute to her and I thank you for sharing them with us. I lost my Grama six years ago on the 20th of this month, she was 92 years old and a firecracker until the end. She also gave us “eggs” to carry and I miss her everyday. Your words touched my heart as it still seems only a memory ago that she left us. They left much beauty in the world, cherish your eggs and again, my heartfelt condolences to Victor and your family💞

  58. What a loving and heartfelt tribute. I feel like I know her. By her stories I can see why Victor chose you. A spitfire like mee maw. ❤️

  59. A lovely tribute Jenny; well said. Give Victor a hug for me and continue on telling us stories of this wonderful lady to enlighten our lives. May your family find healing in the love surrounding you in your grief.

  60. What a heartfelt, soulful, beautifully written tribute to Meemaw, who has surely now been honored and shared with the world in a way she might have never been able to imagine. You painted such a vivid word picture of her, and then when I saw the photos …!!! She looked every bit the woman you described. What a blessing it sounds like she was and will always be, to you and so many others. And now, too, to people who have read your words and are inspired by Meemaw.

  61. I am so, so sorry for your loss, and Victor’s. Yesterday I was in Las Vegas appearing at an Irish Wake for all those we’ve lost in the Comedy Community this year. In addition to telling some stories and getting some laughs, I read a poem at the request of Rhonda Shock, Ron Shock’s widow. I wrote it on the occasion of Ron’s death and I share it with you, here.

    As we age
    and let us hope we do,
    we come to know the dying;
    we come to grieve the dead.
    Solemnities slip by
    like sweet and salty
    soft serve summer days
    when lemonade stand fantasies
    of fortunes gripped in tiny hands
    dissolve to condensation
    bright beneath our eyes.
    Slow drops distort and magnify,
    a clear trail, then sublimate to nothing,
    a diagram of transience traced in transparency.
    After every hot house comfort
    has been peddled out to wilting,
    the chairs and tables folded down,
    leaned aside, some weep; some smile
    a final crowfoot-wrinkled thought to silence
    then living on, together
    walk back up the waking aisle
    to see another fall
    in nature’s golden leaving.

    — Dylan Brody (with love for you and yours, Jen)

  62. Sorry for your loss, you were very lucky to have her and she was very lucky to have you as family to look out for her.
    Thanks for the story, you could share the digging up a corpse one too,

  63. I’m so sorry for your loss Jenny, as well as Victor’s, Hailey’s and the rest of her loved ones. What a wonderful woman and what a rich life she led. You all are in my thoughts.

  64. Thank you for sharing Meemaw with us. She sounds like a force of nature. Because of your gift with words I will try very, very hard to not drop any eggs.

  65. Those pictures are so sweet, and what a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing the eggs with us – especially the yolks.

  66. I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an incredible woman whose influence will continue to echo through your family. Good thoughts to all of you.

  67. I am sending my condolences to you Jenny, Victor and Hailey and the rest of the family. God Bless Meemaw the pain is over a new journey has begun where she will be at peace at last. I read this with laughter and tears.

  68. And she is painfree, happy and young again. You and Victor will see her again someday, just not too soon !
    Best Near Death Experiences collected by a Doctor.
    nderf.org

  69. Looks like she only left good eggs behind. What a positive person. Just incredible. Thanks for sharing one of her stories with us.

  70. Thank you for sharing this, she sounds like a wonderful woman, thoughts and prayers to your family

  71. So, so sorry, Jenny ( & Victor & all beautiful Meemaws’ family!) Your words are wonderful, & brought me some tears. Will be printing this out and sharing it, down here in Australia.

  72. Very sorry for your loss. It’s an awful thing. The pain fades but never vanishes. I hope you have people you love and who love you around to help you celebrate her life.

  73. I’m so sorry… may she rest easy and may your hearts be soothed by your memories of her.
    RIP, Meemaw.

  74. It always makes me happy to hear stories about special people like your Doris. People that remind us to really see everything and everyone around us and to appreciate our lives have a value that cannot properly be expressed. I’m so sorry that you lost her but I’m so happy that you had her.
    You’re one of those people too and I value you. Thank you for sharing your stories and being a part of my life.

  75. Thank you for sharing with us. My heart goes out to you and your family in your time of sorrow. Please let me know if you need anything. I could probably only send you some canned garden produce, a secondhand scarf, or some books, but those are almost as good as soda & peanuts.

  76. I am so sorry for your loss… MeeMaw sounds like she was an amazing woman who lived an amazingly colorful life, and enjoyed every minute of it. It sounds like she brought joy to all she touched, no matter what she was doing. Hold on tight to your memories of her, and the stories that she told, as that is how you will share her colors with the world, as she shared them with you. Prayers and light to you all….

  77. You are so blessed to have had such a wonderful person as MeeMaw in your life. My heart goes out to you as you help her into the next world. Remember that she will always be close to you. .A whisper of wind, a butterfly lingering by your window.. Speak her name often and laugh and cry when you feel the need.

  78. It’s 5:36 in the morning, I’ve only had a miniscule sip of coffee and tears are pouring down my face. Dammit.

    I’m glad that Victor had such a good person to raise him – like she was raising him just for you. It sounds like Meemaw lived a wonderful life and had wonderful people at her side. You will always have her stories. And her eggs. I think maybe you should try to trade them in for wine slushies now.

  79. Thank you for your tender tribute, and for sharing this particular egg with us. Please extend our condolences to Victor and the rest of Mrs. Cantrell’s family.

  80. You found your words just fine Jenny. A lovely tribute for a kind soul…deepest sympathy to you all

  81. I am so sorry for the loss of such a special woman to you and Victor. It’s wonderful that you had her in your life, which makes the loss so much worse. My heart is with you and your family while you carry each other’s eggs. Rest easy Meemaw. Victor is in good hands.

  82. Jenny and family, I am so sorry for the loss of meemaw. She sounds like an incredible woman. Beautiful inside and out. Hugs to you all during this difficult time.

  83. A beautiful life lesson and story to honor a beautiful soul. I’m so sorry for your loss, Jenny. <3

  84. Rest in peace now Miss Doris Jean.
    In the arms of the angels may you find some comfort there.

  85. What a beautiful tribute. You have also become the carrier of the eggs, with all you have already done for people. Best wishes and may she rest in peace, and you find peace as she lives on in your heart, and in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

  86. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and yes, I’ve seen you write about her before. Clearly she was a good and special egg.

  87. As a story teller myself, I love a live audience. It’s the reactions that you get from people and watching them get the punch line. My best friend loves it when I start to tell stories. Your post has made me realize the empact a good story can have on others. It can make memories. It can make people better. Thank you for that!

    My thoughts, prayers, and heart is with you and your family now. May those eggs comfort you now as they always have. Godspeed Meemaw.

  88. I am so sorry for your loss. <3 Our thoughts and love are with you and Victor and the rest of your family. massive hugs

  89. I’m sorry for your loss. She sounds like a fantastic lady, and I know she must have been grateful for your loving care.

  90. Prayers for your family. Your tribute to her is wonderful! Love hearing stories retold by our seniors of their childhood.

  91. What a fantastic eulogy, Jenny. I love your mee maw just from the stories you’ve told us over the years. Those stories will bring you comfort in the coming days, weeks, months and they will always make you smile. Thank you for sharing her with us, and I hope her passing means she’s back with her soldier, travelling around or just enjoying their time on the perfect beach.
    May she rest in peace.

  92. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to Meemaw.
    May you gently carry the eggs she’s left you.
    Hugs to you and your family.

  93. Grandmas are so special. I think of mine daily; she died 9years ago this month. You were all blessed by meemaw. You have many happy memories that will help ease the pain of your grief.

  94. I lost my meema 11 years ago. Meema’s are special people and they make The world a better place. Godspeed meema.

  95. Oh Jenny! I’m so sorry for your loss, and so touched by this wonderful woman…thank you for sharing her with us! What a gem! And the song…the song….reminded me of my parents…I’ve heard it before…somewhere…drifting through an old western my Dad liked to watch…or just maybe an old Lawrence Welk show that my Mom enjoyed…blessings to you all….hold tight to those sweet memories!

  96. What a woman. My heart goes out to you all. May the joy of a life well-lived and loved soothe your sorrow. Deepest condolences to you, Victor and your family.

  97. Thank you for reminding me about how special my mom is even though I’m listening to the same stories over and over and over…. God speed to your Meemaw ans blessings to you and your family.

  98. What a lovely woman. Death stinks but having another angel does not. I pray that these last moments with her will fill your hearts with the love that only she could provide. Be well.

  99. One of the things I regret the most about my grandfather’s passing (years ago now) was that I was not more careful about recording his stories. Because he knew every bit of family history we ever had.
    Even if you don’t have audio recordings, I encourage you to get Meemaw’s children and grandchildren to write the stories down they remember. It will be a beautiful way to remember her and for a generation not yet born to know her.

  100. Lots of love to you, your family, and Victor’s family! Keep those memories very close to your heart.

  101. My thoughts are with your family.
    Reading this brought back memories of my grandfather (my mom’s father). He was quite the story teller. Before he passed and before his memory got too bad (due to dementia) my mom recorded him talking about his childhood and anything he wanted… I cherish that gift more than anything.

  102. More than anything in life I want to be like her to
    My family. I am so
    Sorry you lost such an amazing soul.

  103. What a blessing to have and celebrate meemaw A well deserved tribute to her. I know you thought long and hard on what to writ and it couldn’t have been better. Rip Doris

  104. So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. Thank you for sharing Meemaw with the rest of us.

  105. I see she was a beautuful lady inside and out. My confolences for your loss but thank you for sharing her with us.

  106. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. She sounds like an absolutely amazing woman who left an incredible legacy of love and fantastic stories. 🙂 (fell out of a jeep while shooting at rabbits?? really??? WOW.)

  107. A beautiful post about a beautiful person. I’m sorry that she’s gone, but look at the tremendous legacy she left behind. Sending you, Victor and the whole family loving thoughts.

  108. I’m sorry about your loss. Beautiful post. Was that Victor in the one picture???

    (The guy on the left? That’s Victor. Then meemaw and Hailey. One of my favorites. ~ Jenny)

  109. Thank you for sharing her story with us. I was afraid this had happened when you mentioned palliative care a little while ago. My condolences to you and your family.

    My dad said the best way we can pay tribute to those we’ve lost is to tell their stories and keep their memories alive. What a great book her stories would make! 🙂

  110. She sounds like an amazing woman, and one who was a blessing to her family until the very end. I don’t know what more out of life any of us could ask for. Prayers for you & your family as you deal with her loss<3

  111. Keep sharing her eggs and yours. We will keep them all safe. (And that is my husband’s favorite song – I never thought I’d be listening to cowboy music, but I have grown to love it too.)

  112. What a beautiful tribute. I’m so very sorry for your loss, and reminded of a quote from Winnie the Pooh: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

  113. Jenny, love to you and your family in you loss. I lost three of my wise and wonderful grandparents and still miss them every day. I hope your memories and stories will sustain you as our stories do for us. Big, big hugs.

  114. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful memory and a beautiful legacy. All of you carry the egg now. You and Victor have already began to pass it’s legacy on yo your daughter. I see it in her smile.

  115. Jenny & Victor, you know our hearts and thoughts will be with you this weekend. Keep that with you as well. So many people who have never met you send love and support right now.

  116. Precious words are eggs that preserve memories and hatch dreams.
    Beautiful tribute, Jenny. So sorry for your family’s loss.

  117. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a beautiful way to remember someone who meant and brought so much your life. (((Hugs)))

  118. Jenny, my sympathy to you and your family.
    I never knew either of my Meemaws, as they each passed long before I was born. I think they were as wonderful as Victor’s Meemaw as my parents had to get their goodness from somewhere.
    May we live up to their legacy.

  119. Well it’s a good thing I waited to put my mascara on this morning. Lovely tribute, Jenny. So sorry for your family’s loss. Your Meemaw sounds like a wonderful person.

  120. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Right before my Great-Grandmother passed last year, she had a childhood friend come to visit. This sweet and beautiful lady had dementia and had no short term memory, but she could recall stories from when they were girls. She told me a story about them stuffing their pockets with eggs and taking them to the store so they could get a coke and candy. And also about my Great-Grandmother sneaking out (!!!!) to go to a dance. I will cherish those stories forever. Prayers for y’all. <3

  121. This made me cry. I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m happy that Meemaw passed on her egg. I think you’re doing an excellent job of carrying it.

  122. Oh my, I have goosebumps. Meemaw sounds like a wonderful, interesting woman who had a well-Lived life. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a piece of her with us.

  123. Oh Jenny, what a beautiful tribute to Meemaw! My deepest condolences to you & your family. Keep her stories alive and that will help you all.

  124. Just played the song to show my respect and my thoughts regarding her passing. My sincere condolences to you,Victor and the family. God Bless

  125. Digging up a corpse…love it. I hope you will continue to share her eggs. What a gift to you and all of us, those stories. My sympathy to you and your family. Sending prayers of peace and comfort.

  126. What a beautiful tribute to her. Your post was exactly what I needed to read this morning, and though I am sorry for your loss, I am so happy you got to spend time and love someone as wonderful as her.

  127. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. What a beautiful, loving tribute to meemaw. Godspeed meemaw.

  128. What a lovely and genuine testimony written directly from the heart. We should all be as fortunate to have not only lived such a life, but to have family who cares as deeply for us. You’re one of the good ones, Jenny.

  129. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, but I’m so very grateful that Meemaw was here, and I am grateful that she has left a legacy of caring and joy that she saw passed to new generations. Meemaw’s body may be gone, but her spirit will always be with everyone in your family.

    She sounds like my late Nonan, an ass kicking woman whose love outweighed everything else. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

  130. Dear Jenny, yesterday we celebrated my Grandma’s birthday for the fourth time without her. I’d say something witty about eggs but I’m still all onions. Feel hugged, if that’s ok with you. Me being a stranger and you being a bit socially anxious and all.

  131. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Such a lovely tribute to your Meemaw. She will be with you always.

  132. I am so so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. What an amazing tribute to a truly beautiful woman, inside and out (my god did you see those pictures – that smile? She was so beautiful!!!) Victor, may her love for you shine through your heart and ease your pain and sorrow.

  133. Thanks a lot for making my cry at work, Jenny! Not cool.

    Seriously, though–I come to you because you’re so freakin’ funny, but this was just incredibly beautifully written. A very worthy tribute to a wonderful woman.

  134. I am so sorry for your loss. What a great post though, and thank you for being willing to share. She sounds like a great lady, Can you tell Haley that there is a lady on the interwebs that lost a grandparent when I was 7, 9 and 10. It hurts bad, and its okay that it hurts your heart so much. It means they were a wonderful person.

  135. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My Nana (grandmother) just passed a week ago and our family spent the weekend together sharing all the love she gave to us. This story was a beautiful way to share the love she gave to you all.

  136. Thank you for sharing the egg of love with all your readers. May we each carry it throughout our lives with the care and compassion taught by Meemaw.

  137. What a knockout! Seriously, she was stunningly beautiful. I am sorry I never got the opportunity to meet this beautiful lady, although your words made me feel as though I did. I have been passed several “eggs” and I try not to drop them. I hope your Meemaw is meeting my Papaw, I believe they will be great friends as it sounds like they share the gift of storytelling and egg protection. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  138. THAT was the most beautiful tribute! Please take care of yourself during this time of grief and may all of your hearts be filled with peace, comfort, love, laughter… And eggs!

  139. You definitely found your words with this absolutely beautiful tribute to Meemaw. Thank you for passing the egg along. I will protect and share it. All the best to you and your family!

  140. THANK YOU for sharing this story!! If only every one of us had someone that special in our lives….imagine how wonderful the world could really be!! So sorry for your loss.

  141. We lost my 97 year old mother, one of the first female Marines in WWII, last week. That generation seemed to have such amazing women who forged trails in places most of us would have never thought of. They kept their humor even when faced with adversity that would drop many of us to our knees.
    May we keep their stories alive and the lessons close to our hearts. Rest in Peace, Doris and June, and keep them laughing in your new world as you did in your old one.

  142. Well, you have definitely found your words here–what a lovely and loving tribute to a woman I never knew but wish I had. I am so sorry for your loss–please extend my sympathy to Victor, too. I will be dwelling on the beauty of the egg-carrying metaphor–such a wonderful way to explain a life well lived.

  143. What a wonderful way to honor her, to share her story with us. She definitely gave you the egg/gift/memories and now you’ve shared that with us. I hope I can be someone who will share her egg/gift with someone else.

  144. Beautifully written – Beautiful tribute – hugs to you, Victor, Hailey, and the rest of the family

  145. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Thank you for sharing Meemaw’s stories with us, I’m in tears over the sweetness of your tribute.

  146. I am so glad you had this wonderful woman in your life. Thank you for sharing her with us. All my hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  147. I am so sorry for your loss. And I want to thank you. I am currently caring for my momma full time and, like your meemaw, I hear the same stories over and over. I see that instead of becoming frustrated, I need to enjoy the stories, remember them, and pass them on to my family. You have helped me be a better daughter. Much love to you and yours.

  148. I was with my father when he died. A quiet, underwhelming moment. He had made it more than clear he was in many ways ashamed of the way I had turned out, but as family he still loved me. Just didn’t like me much I suppose. We were not particularly close.

    But nothing prepares you for the emptiness at the loss of such an important person in your life. My thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to you.

  149. So sorry for your tremendous loss. I’ve yet to lose a grandma, and I dread the day it happens. I hope when it does that my words are as beautiful as yours. Also: tell Victor it’s ok. I got my head stuck in the fence at Disney too. It’s clearly Disney’s fault.

  150. So sorry for your loss. It’s always hard to let go of someone who means so much. Prayers for you and your family

  151. That was a beautiful tribute. Meemaw was a living treasure! The egg story says so much about her – simple, gentle, kind, resourceful, fun, and a bit ornery. Thank you for sharing her with us. Virtual hugs to your family during this sad time.

  152. My heart goes out to all of you as you grieve. What a joy she must have received to hear her family tell her story. She knows she will live on with all of you…and now, a small piece will live on in us as well.

  153. So beautifully written, Jenny. Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m so envious that you and your family had someone so special in your lives. Love to you all.

  154. That was an incredibly beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. You are a wonderful writer but we knew that. I’m so sorry. It’s so hard to lose someone that dear to you. She lived through some interesting times.

  155. Thinking of you and your family. You may not believe it, but I think you found your words. And they are beautiful. Love what you have written and shared here.

  156. I am not famous or successful; I have only my two wonderful sons as my legacy and I pray to be deserving of them. Reading your lovely tribute reinforces to me that is what counts. How we leave the people in our lives we were entrusted with. My condolences to all of you.

  157. Jenny, so sad for your family’s loss. You will carry those stories she talked about in your hearts and on bad/sad days, you’ll remember her and her life stories. Hugs to you all, ♥♥♥

  158. I am so sorry for your loss, and grateful you shared it with us. Especially her favorite song. My dad passed away in 2007 at 80 years of age. My favorite memory of him was whenever we went for a long car ride, he would sing the chorus of that song. I never knew who sang it because dad always sang “singing a cowboy song” not a cattle song. So now I know what the whole song sounds like. I cried happy memory tears…someday you will listen with happy tears too.

  159. I write this through tears. People may not fully comprehend the impact that grannies, memaws, and nanas have on their grandchildren. I had such a grandmother, too. Her stories were more valuable than gold and she made me the person I am today. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. I’m hugging you right now on behalf of all of us who’ve been touched by an extra special grandmother.

  160. Thank you for sharing this with us, I will never forget Meemaw. I am sorry for your loss, I am happy that you had her in your life. hugs.

  161. Thank you, Jenny. I needed this today. My mum has been dying of dementia for the last several years, and yesterday was a really tough day. I cried all the way home from visiting her (thank goodness traffic wasn’t too bad), and then for another hour or two. I want so much for her and my dad’s suffering to be over, but instead I’m going to remember all the eggs she’s carried over the years, even if she can’t remember them anymore, and I’m going to pass those eggs on to my daughter. Thank you for reminding me that even when things seem like they’re a ginormous pile of crap, there can be a golden egg hidden under it. May your family find peace in all the wonderful memories of Victor’s meemaw and her incredible life.

  162. I am so sorry for your loss, I am very happy for you that you had her when you did. Once again you are able to put into words thoughts, ideas, jumblings that toss around in my head often. You brought me to tears not only for your loss, but for everything you have gained knowing her.

  163. I was going to rant on about how bad this time of year has become. How I have lost some very close, very dear people in late August, early September. Thank you for sharing this Jenny, after reading this I realize this is the best time of year, so many good souls leaving at this time must mean something. Thank you again for sharing, as I share my tears with you. What a beautiful sentiment for Meemaw.

  164. I am so sorry for your loss, and for Victor’s. I am headed to Ohio this weekend for my grammy’s funeral. She was 97, but even at her most obnoxious and annoying, I can remember her stories about Conestoga wagons in the backyard and eating apples in the orphanage. And most of all, she gave us Mom.
    I hope Meemaw rests in peace, and that you find the peace to remember the joy.

  165. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with us. She will live forever in your hearts. You and your family are in my thoughts!

  166. As always thank you, this time for sharing your beautiful story. Blessings to you and yours (which includes basically everyone as you generously share it all with us).

  167. I’m sorry to hear about Meemaw. Sedning hugs and love to you and your family. She will never be forgotten by any of us that were fortunate enough to hear your stories!

  168. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss! But on the other hand, I’m so grateful that your family, like myself, was fortunate to have had a storyteller and adventurer in the family.

  169. This reminds me so much of my own grandmother’s stories – she’s been gone 15 years and I still miss her and try to carry her eggs with me. So sorry for your loss – you were lucky to have her.

  170. I am going to add my voice to the growing chorus of support and condolences at your loss. I often say that the loss of a loved one is a sharp, almost unquenchable pain and it leaves a hole in our heart that will never – can never – be filled. Right now, the pain of that loss is strong. Take some comfort in the fact that the legacy that “Meemaw” leaves will be with you forever. It will far outlast the pain, and remain strong even after that pain has faded a bit. Hang in there…and write down those stories….your descendents will LOVE finding them and reading them.

  171. This is so beautiful.
    I don’t believe people ever really leave us. They’re only gone in body. Because they influence us and that influence becomes part of us. It sounds like she lives strongly in everyone who loved her and met her.

  172. Dang! You made me cry and smile and laugh all at once! May we all be so lucky to have a life and a family like your meemaw!

  173. Such a loving and beautiful tribute to a woman of strength and grace. God bless you and your family. May she rest in peace.

  174. That was beautiful. I’m so sorry for your and your family’s loss. She sounds like she lived a genuine life with lots of love surrounding her.

  175. Oh! You had me laughing at the falling out of a moving Jeep while shooting rabbits. And then crying at the egg bit. I wish you and your family many happy memories and peace. And the strength to get through the grieving. It’s not for sissies.

  176. That is lovely. So sorry that you lost Meemaw, but how lucky you were to hear the stories and get to be with her this last year. My mom used to say I was a good egg (as opposed to ?). Eggs are so much more then just edible wonders.
    And someday? Someday, would you share the Disneyland, head stuck in a fence story?

  177. This has become my goal, in the midst of a very difficult part of life: to keep the values that I believe in strong. To only get even with those who did good and kindness to me. To carry the fragile eggs carefully that others have entrusted me with. To hang on to my own.

    Thank you for sharing this. Condolences to Victory, Hailey, and you. Goodspeed Meemaw.

  178. I hope you and Victor and the rest of Meemaw’s family are doing okay. And I’m praying that the happy memories continue to make you smile through the tears as you greive. <3

  179. A beautiful tribute to her. There are tears in my eyes and yet inspiration from your words. Hugs to all of you!

  180. I’m sorry for your loss. What a wonderful eulogy for what sounds like an influential woman in your lives. I’m happy that you were there with her to help her cross.

  181. Beautiful memories. I got chills reading your blog today. Thank you for sharing. Prayers and peace for your family.

  182. I am so very sorry for the loss of Meemaw. Thank you for sharing her with us. What you was wrote was beautiful. My parents are aging now and this is really hitting home, so thank you.

  183. Now I’m crying at work. It’s worth it, of course. Meemaw sounds like a true blessing. We may overuse that word in the South but it’s the only word that describes the beautiful person you introduced us to.

  184. I am so sorry to hear about your Meemaw. We are all keeping you and your family in our thoughts and are so grateful to you for sharing in this beautiful person’s life. Those memories are precious and the gift of storytelling is rare. Perhaps together you all could make a personal book for you to keep her stories in. I had voice recordings of my Mamaw telling me her stories before she become ill, I revisit them when I need her, which some weeks seems like everyday. Digital hugs to you all and if you need someone to listen, there are many of us here who will be here to lend an ear. Please take care

  185. What a lovely, touching tribute. Thank you for sharing such a gift with us, plus all the other stories you’ve told about Meemaw. She sounds like she was a wonderful unique person. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  186. and as I looked above as I was posting, I mis-read Ethel Mertz as “sending hugs from Vagina”
    …laughter and tears go together.

  187. Anyone with a meemaw in their life is lucky beyond lucky. And thanks for sharing. I got my smile for the day.

  188. This brought tears to my eyes! I’m so very sorry for your loss. You, Victor and Haley were lucky to have her! My thoughts are with you and the family.

  189. So sorry for your family’s loss. She was such a bright star and the world is a better place because she was on it!

  190. Thank you so much for sharing her life and yours with us. You make me feel like I can continue to go on, especially on the days that I’m sure that I can’t.

  191. So very sorry for your family’s loss. It’s wonderful that she had such a good, long life, and that you were able to share some great years with Meemaw. All our love during this challenging time.

  192. Thank you for sharing such a lovely story. We lost my grandmother, Rubye, back in April. It was sudden and extremely painful, even now. Someone told me that she always looked like she was ready to have her portrait taken because she was always made up perfectly. My grandmother put her best forward everyday, and that is what she expected in return. She was also not afraid to tell you if you did not look your best, had put on some weight, or dyed your hair a color she did not like. 🙂 I have a new tradition of getting ready in the mornings. Before I leave I stand in front of my jewelry and ask myself WWRW? What would Rubye wear? I will carry the lessons I learned from her with me forever. And hopefully pass a little sparkle and bling on to my future kids and grandkids.

  193. Any woman who shoots rabbits out of a moving jeep must be someone truly extraordinary. I will keep you, and your family, in my prayers (or, ya know, in my thought for those not of the praying type)

  194. I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and the live and respect you have for her shine through in your words. I feel sure she knew, and valued, what you and Victor felt about her.

  195. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful (inside and out) woman. The family resemblance between herself and Victor is so pronounced. It reminds me of my own grandmother, whose baby pictures I would’ve taken for my own had they not been in black and white. My heart aches for your family’s loss, and I wish you peace and healing.

  196. I am so sorry for your loss and especially for Victor’s loss. What a wonderful elegy! Thank you for your words and for giving us a small peek into the life of a clearly vibrant and delightful woman. You, Victor, Hailey, and the rest of her family are her legacy. I’m sure she would be pleased with that.

  197. I’m sorry for your loss, but I also rejoice in the time you got to have with her. She sounds like an amazing lady.

  198. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m looking forward to the day that you feel up to telling her story- from what you’ve told us all about her, we can all be enriched by it!

  199. You are in my thoughts.

    And my own grandfather’s egg was a joke about an Englishman visiting the Hotel Statler in Boston, which my aunt told at his funeral when she was giving the eulogy (because he’d always told her that when you do public speaking, you should end with a joke).

    He told that joke about four-hundred-ty-billion times, and the fakey English accent he used for the joke was awful, but it didn’t matter, hearing my aunt start telling it is the point in the funeral where my cousins and I all started choking up.