Last week my Mamaw Troxler passed away at 89 years old. I wanted to write a few thoughts down that I learned from her death.
Lastly, here is my Ode to Mamaw Troxler that I read at her funeral:
As I watched Mamaw slowly grow worse this past week, each time I would enter her house it was like old memories would flood my mind. A picture of her beloved sister Mary in her room reminded me of the summer days when Mamaw would take us to play for hours over at aunt Mary’s. Her table reminded me of all days I sat after school perfecting my cursive and rewriting it if grandma deemed that it was a little too messy, and the many letters I wrote to my pen pal her sister in Arkansas, Aunt Carol. The cheese and cracker plates she would always have ready for hungry girls who had been at school all day. Easter egg hunts, Christmas breakfast, sleepovers, Sunday lunches, cooking lessons. I can’t enter that door without seeing my mamaw there- cooking, cleaning, giving her love in all the best ways a grandma can, with time and food!
As I left her house one afternoon last week I was talking to the Lord about mamaw. About how much I loved her and our memories. Asking him to help me remember all the best memories, and as I talked he brought a word to mind: Steadfast. James and I had talked about the meaning of this word a few weeks ago while pondering the verse 1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. We talked about the meaning of steadfast, how we could become more this way in our own lives. As I drove home the Lord showed me all the ways my mamaw was steadfast in her life.
Mamaw grew up with 9 brothers and sisters being born into a hard time in our counties history. I loved to ask her questions about when she was a little girl. She told me all 10 kids were assigned a chore and to no surprise Grandma’s was cleaning. To this day I’m not sure I have seen a dusty corner in her house. She taught me the meaning of being thrifty and self controlled, as each time I came over she would carefully give me a half a stick of gum. What a treat that gum was, always halved but almost more enjoyable then the whole piece. During her full life she raised two successful and unique sons and loved one man with all her heart. She lost our Pops too young, 56, but in her steadfast way she persevered on. She was always the same loving mamaw. In the best times, the worst times, I could always come sit on her couch and talk to grandma. She would be calm, gracious, and unwavering in her love and support of me her granddaughter. When I lost sport games grandma would always offer a smile and say “maybe next time” and “you played good Rebecca”. She always saw the best in me and others. I used to love to sit and talk with her about dancing, and how she and Pops used to watch the Lawrence Welk show every Saturday night. She would tell me about how her and Pops loved to dance, and I would see her eyes light up.
My favorites memories involved her kitchen. In high school I took cooking lessons with mamaw. I would be trying to meticulously write down the recipe and she would be saying add a little sugar and a pinch of salt. She didn’t need a recipe she just knew how to make her famous pound cake, chicken salad and salmon patties. I will miss calling her while cooking in my own kitchen. If I ever had a question (which was often especially in my first year of marriage) I would just call mamaw. She would advise me and always say, “Well does it look right”. I knew I could expect a call the next day with her asking : “well how did it taste?” The last time I left her house a day before she passed I asked her if I could do anything for her and she said please take the biscuits I’m making out of oven. I’m making Steve and Wayne some ham biscuits because they have been working all day. Up until her last day mamaw wanted to cook and serve her family, it’s just who she was. After I had Barron 8 months ago she would frequently say to me “you just never knew you could love anything like you love that little boy, right Becca?” And I would smile and nod, thinking about how true that statement really was. One thing is for sure grandma loved us all and she had a special love for her two boys dad and uncle Steve.
I could go on and on about the unwavering love and life of Rebecca Anne Knight Troxler, but I guess really I’m just thankful that she was my mamaw. Thankful that I get to carry her name and hopefully her legacy of loving God, family, and friends with all her heart and strength. Her grace, elegance, hard work ethic, commitment to her church, perfect hair and nails, and consist strength, will always be examples I strive to emulate in my life. I will miss our chats, her head butts – better known as kisses with Barron- and her steadfast way. There will never be another. I love you grandma and long for the day when we will dance together in heaven.