Mama loved to surprise us. A box of her homemade fudge. A recording of a poem she’d memorized. Little gifts she’d brought back from a trip. Even with 10 of us—five boys and five girls—she always found ways to make each of us feel special.
Mama passed away in December 1997 at age 93. Two months later, on a cold gray February morning, four of us sisters gathered at our childhood home in Clarkesville, Georgia, to go through her things. Only our middle sister, Jackie, couldn’t make it; she’d stayed in Florida to nurse her sick husband. Years before, Mama had already given each of us the big items she’d wanted us to have. Today we had a system: We each took the gifts we’d given her, then made stacks of items for the rest of the family, including her 34 grandchildren.
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