Puzzle for Mamaw

My Mamaw used to have her own store called Jauntia's Junk. She was a regular at any garage sale and would have an eye for anything that could be refinished, fixing whatever she found with amazing results. She sold these things in her store along with any other random thing you could think of. My favorite part, and still a great memory growing up, was the candy bar at her store. It was huge and had every type of candy you could ever imagine. Behind the bar she even had a popcorn, cotton candy, hot dog, nacho and snow cone machine. It was the place to be and everyone loved being there. She would take each customers picture with her polaroid camera and hang their picture on the wall. The walls of her store were quickly covered by her beloved customers. 
About 12 years ago, my Mamaw had a stroke. She lost feeling in her right side, her ability to walk and speak. It was heartbreaking. She had to close down her store. She is a very strong willed person and has come such a long way. She can only say a few words ("oh dear" is her signature phrase) and is in a wheelchair but still lives life to the fullest. Before her stroke she was always creating something. Whether it be a new outfit, halloween costume for a grandkid, a hand painted bench or redoing some furniture. She was always doing something so fun and amazing. After her stroke she wasn't able to do any of those things anymore and I just can't imagine what that would be like. Crafting and creating is my outlet, it's my thing. I don't read books, follow politics, watch the news, or anything else intellectual. (I even had to google how to spell that word). If I lost my ability to craft, I don't know what I would do. I would hope that I could be half the woman my Mamaw is and just make the best of what was in front of me. 
Years ago she began to do puzzles. She has full movement in her left side so she found that puzzles were easy and enjoyable for her. I wish I knew how many she has actually put together. I would guess hundreds. She doesn't do the easy puzzles either, its the 1000 piece puzzles with lots of intricate details. So many tiny pieces and she slowly but surely puts them all together. She then has my mom seal it, frame it, and then she gives them to someone. It has become her ministry. Each puzzle is always for someone, never for herself. If the cleaning lady comments on a puzzle she is working on, she will have my mom give the finished puzzle to her. Ella and McKenna have a huge Alice and Wonderland and Candy puzzle that she made for them. 
Mamaw has been pretty sick lately and her stubborn strong willed heart won't let anyone do anything about it. She is ready to go "home" and has been telling us that for years now. She doesn't want to do anything to prolong her stay here on this earth. It is so sad to hear but I understand.
Hospice was called in last week to help her be more comfortable. No one has really been able to say a time line or anything since we can't find out too many details to her health because she doesn't want any test to be run. Some days are better than others for her. We drove in town on Saturday to visit with her a bit and the girls wanted to show off their Wonder Woman halloween costumes.

Cousin Kyler was a werewolf and it terrified sweet McKenna. 

The girls made MaMaw a giant card on poster board and we then turned it into a puzzle for her. 
It was probably her easiest puzzle yet but probably her first and only 3D one too:)
We love you so much Mamaw!


The Savage's said...

I love this post so much. My grandmother is in bad health also and I am so much like her, just like it sounds like you are so much like yours! I know she loved that puzzle and getting to see you all :)

Misty said...

Allison- I KNOW how special grandmas are! Lyndon & I had my grandma move in with us about 13 months ago & her health hasn't been good-not sure if you knew that- anyway, I just wanted to say I can totally relate & that I will keep you and your sweet family in my prayers for peace & comfort during this time. I can see where you get your love for candy & crafting. What a joy you and your girls must be to her.

Lifethrualinds said...

This just made me teary! What a thoughtful gift and tribute to mamaw. And what a sweet time to spend with her. Love all these memories. Love you.

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