A week ago last Friday, I received a phone call that my Mimi, Elizabeth Swift Brown, had passed away.
She had been very sick for a very long time so the phone call brought a mixed bag of emotions. Sadness and relief. Shock and peace. A wish that I could have had more time with her and comfort that her time and pain was finally over.
My Mimi was a character. A force to be reckoned with. Feisty. Spirited. When she would ask you how you were doing, "I'm fine" or "I'm good" were never an acceptable answer. She let Kyle know this the first time they met. He made it a point never to mention "doing well" again! She was always "marvelous, darling" (in the most delicious East Texas accent you've ever heard), even when she wasn't.
At the young age of 82, she came down to College Station for my Kappa initiation and stood through the hours long ceremony. When one of my friends noticed that Mimi had lost an earring, she simply replied "Oh heavens, I guess I'm a gypsy!" and just rolled with it.
Mimi was not the typical "bake cookies with you" kind of grandmother. She was more the take you to Neimans at Christmas type! Always fashionable, she loved the color yellow. I never pass by a yellow rose without thinking of her.
In my adult years I have really enjoyed hearing others tell me stories about her, how she was a woman ahead of her time. At a time when most women did not work outside the home, Mimi did. She was passionate about her work in the wood flooring business she founded with my grandfather. I was tickled to hear the story about how she added ceramic tile to the product line. When samples of the tiles started coming in for display, my grandfather said that they weren't in the ceramic tile business to which she replied, "Now we are."
At 95 years old, the time spent I spent with my family and her memorial service truly felt like a "celebration of life". It was good to see all of my aunts, uncles and cousins and share stories about our time with her. Unsurprisingly, we clung to many of the same stories. She was the matriarch of our family and will truly be missed!
And, since no post would truly be complete without an "out of the mouths of babes" moment, I wanted to share Cooper's reaction to the news.
Since Kyle's mom is also a Mimi, Cooper has always known my grandmother as "Mimi Elizabeth". The last time he saw her was in February when we went up to celebrate her birthday. At the time, she had a broken hip. Cooper went on and on about Mimi Elizabeth's "broken weg" and how he was going to fix it.
After I got the call, Cooper noticed I was crying and asked what was wrong. I told him that Mimi Elizabeth had died and that it made me sad. He said "Oh Mom, I'm sorry. I'll get Mimi Elizabeth a new bandaid. Did she fall off her scooter?" I'm sure Mimi got a good chuckle about that one from Heaven. Although, she most definitely would have chosen a souped up Cadillac over a scooter!