(I am a sucker for traditions, you know)
We started it last year on what would have been my great grandma's 95th birthday. She was the matriarch of the family, you see. Fay. Mama. Grandma Great. Her full name was Jonnie Estelle Fay Denny Culp Pendleton (say that five times fast).
A big name, for a big woman, and not just in size (though nothing was quite more comforting than a big grandma great hug--that woman's bosom was a king-sized pillow). Grandma Great had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. Big enough to encompass her entire family with that strong kind of love that she drew from Jesus.
That photo on the table is of Grandma Great helping me feed my sister, Autumn. It's one of my favorites. Another favorite of mine is a photo of her and I sitting on her piano, playing together. She gave me my love of the keys and encouraged me to practice, practice, practice! Sometimes, I would practice at her house after school and then she would send me out to the backyard to pick enough blueberries for a cobbler. Cooking was her spiritual gift. She'd somehow squeeze us all (and there are a lot of us) around her table, filling and refilling our plates with delicious food. She never sat down herself, and if you didn't at least want seconds she was personally offended.
"You don't like it?" she'd say.
"No, Grandma, it's delicious!"
"Oh good!" Then she'd dish the seconds (or thirds or fourths) onto your plate.
She left a legacy of giving and loving in heaps... seconds, thirds, fourths...etc. Which is why we celebrate her in this way and remember to live similarly. Happy Birthday, Grandma!