Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Musical Memories - Mama Ruth and Merle Haggard



My theme is Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

Mama Ruth was Mother's mother.  She was around fairly often through my childhood, yet I have so few real memories of who she was. After all, I was a child.  And most of the time when she was around when I was young she was busy in the kitchen or visiting my mother and her sisters. Then she was older and sick and frail.  And took turns for a time staying at first one daughters and then another's house. 

So, I seldom had real conversations with her.  Never really got to know her.  But one day.  One day, when she was taking a turn staying with us, she and I were alone in the living room.  I put on a Merle Haggard album and the song "I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am" came on.
  

Above all, I remember her foot that was crossed over one leg starting to swing in time with the music.  I remember her remarking how much she enjoyed the song.  It resonated within her.  Not necessarily having much or being famous in the world's view, but still living one's life with pride and purpose.  We conversed some that day.  But in all honesty, I don't remember any of what was said.  

What I remember is her reaction to this song.  And in that moment I knew how she treasured and prided herself in her simple life and in being certain of who and what she was.  It's a one moment revelation that still resides within me and helps to define who I am today.

Did you get to have a grandparent with you beyond your teen years?
What was the most pivotal moment you ever had with a grandparent?
What values of theirs still resonate within you today?


30 comments:

  1. I had all four through my high school years. One of my grandfathers died at 103 about ten years ago.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

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  2. Nice story. I think of Ray's grandmother after his grandfather passed. She wanted a CD player, which we got her and I made some CD copies (sshh- copyrights broken). Anyway, turns out she really liked Billy Joel. I thought that was fun.

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  3. I had my gram around me when I was growing up and she lived to 99! What I loved about her was her honesty. She helped me a lot with my parent's divorce and was honest about how she felt they were dealing with it (NOT WELL!). It made me feel okay to be upset and happy to know she had my back :)

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. How sweet! It was good that you had her through that rough patch.

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  4. That was a moment of connection for both of you.
    I remember one time my grandmother (who was in her 90's) started talking about her life and the things she'd done. Afterwards, I wished I recorded it.

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    1. You are right Alex. I treasure that moment. One reason I blog is so that some of what I've done, what I think, how I feel will be recorded for my children and grandchildren.

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  5. My grandmothers (I never met my grandfathers) lived very far away from us so we didn't see them often. I took my kids to visit my maternal grandmother in 1994. She was about 85 at the time and she was pretty much in bed all the time but I remember that when she got out of bed, she kept following me around telling me the same story over and over again. I came away thinking that it was important for her that I know the story so I came home and wrote it out. I'll have to post it on my blog one day.

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    1. I think it wonderful that you respected her enough to think that the story might be important to her! So many would just say, that crazy old bird kept telling me the same story.

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  6. Hi Barbara. Sadly, all of my grandparents passed by the time I was born so I never had the opportunity of knowing them. You were blessed to have the moments you did. :) I like that part of the reason you're blogging is to keep a record for your children and grandchildren. Awesome. Eva

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    1. Thank you, Eva. I'm sorry you didn't get to know even one grandparent. I have always felt a little cheated because all of mine were gone before I got into high school. But looking though your eyes, I am fortunate. I have at few crystal clear memories of each of them. Enough, at least to know I was loved.

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  7. My father's parents died when I was in my 20s. My mother's mother's mother taught me to knit. And I still have all her needles and some of her yarn (vintage! but '80s vintage, not a fun decade).

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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    1. Well, it's nice you got to have a great grandmother around that long! And knitting is a good skill to have.

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  8. Two grandparents I didn't get to know at all and two died when I was young. Too bad.

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    1. Yes, it is Paula. I look forward to getting a chance to know the many who have gone before one bright and blessed morning.

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  9. How great to have a role model like that who knew who she was and was confident in her identity. I cherish memories of my grandparents also and also my parents. I miss them dearly. Their values are deeply engrained. Maria@Delight Directed Living

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    1. I hear you! I find myself being more and more "retro" every day. At first when you become an adult, you get a little enamored of some of the new ideas you encounter. But as you live and continue to learn, you realize what you were taught and shown while growing up had you standing in good stead all along.
      Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
      I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
      with the A to Z Challenge

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  10. I grew up on country music, so I'm smiling at this.

    Only my maternal grandmother lived past my teens- but she was a difficult woman, and we had a stressful relationship. I was far more influence by my maternal grandparents, although Gramma died when I was 9, and Grandpa when I was 17, a month before I graduated. I think the way I want to chronicle the everyday bits of my life comes from them - Grandpa took and showed Super 8 films all through my childhood, so I had a living history to connect me to my past.

    I write often at a "desk" that was my Gramma's hoosier cabinet, where I can remember her rolling pie crusts and "Putting up jells" while standing there. It's too low for me to use that way, so I have a sense that I'm a taller woman than she was, by a fair margin,

    We were quite close, those grandparents and I, and I still miss them, after all this time. Thanks for the sweet memories!

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    1. Thank you for joining in and sharing your memories with me! Glad you have some that are so pleasant.
      Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
      I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
      with the A to Z Challenge

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  11. As much as I dislike saying that I have a favorite between two grandpa's .. I am a lot closer to my maternal one. He loves to sing "kundiman", which are romantic folk songs. My fond memory of him is when he would walk the moonlit path from our house to theirs, singing a folk song which I will translate some lines here: Oh bright moon I beg you / My beloved, please help me find / Destiny might play a game / Days will pass / My love will never change / Not even until my last breath and I'm gone.

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    1. Oh, how sweet! What a precious memory to have!

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  12. I was very close to two grandmothers - they were mother and daughter. My gr grandmother lived to see my first two children born.

    When my middle son was just 4 months old, we stayed with her and she told me she would die soon - keep in mind, she wasn't even sick at the time. She took me to a back bedroom and showed me where she had stashed his Christmas present and told me "I want him to have something from his Nanny."

    She passed away two weeks later and I retrieved the gift - a yellow teddy bear that he carried for the longest time.

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    1. How wonderful to have a great grandmother still around! It's odd how sometimes they just know they are going home.

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  13. I loved my Grandma so much! She died around 10 years ago. There were so many things that were so special. Most of all are my earliest memories of learning about Jesus when I was just a little thing, as she taught me prayers and songs like "Jesus Loves Me".

    Blessings,
    Theresa

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    1. Sweet memories! I like to do those things with my granddaughter, Hazil Ruth. And I'm happy that her favorite book for me to read is about the birth of Jesus.

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  14. My mother's mother was with me until passt my teen years and my father's father until I was a young woman. I miss them a lot.

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    1. I know. But we have to just be grateful for the time we did have, remember them and make some memories for the next generation.

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  15. It's nice that you have that memory of her . I lost three grandparents between my teens and college, but my mom's mother , "Mama Mason,"'was around for a long time. She babysat my kids when they were small. She was more like a mom to me than my own mom and I miss her like crazy. She lived to be nearly 100, but the last 5 years she was in a nursing home. She died nearly ten years ago. I am blessed that my kids and I had her in our lives for so long

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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