Thursday, November 11, 2010

Madon's Maple

Madon [May Don] is David's mother, who died in October of 2008.

Madon, one of three sisters, the youngest and the second to die -- her oldest sister, Opal, will be 89 this year, grew up on a farm in Canton, Georgia, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the products of a strict father and a no nonsense mother.

David's mother married at the ripe old age of sixteen. A lovely un-intrusive mother-in-law, Madon had what my own mother called a "sweet spirit" and a "gentle heart."
My mother deemed David's parents "salt of the earth."
Oh, she was so right.

My mother had a intuitiveness about people, and when she met Madon for the first time, summed her up with those simple, but accurate terms.
I would grow to love Madon, this sweet lady who brought me Tide, toilet paper, and other household goods as she "saw it on sale at Winn-Dixie" and wanted to share.
When David and I moved from our first house to the one we are in now, the movers showed up early, and I melted down with tears in the driveway, overwhelmed with the stress.
Madon, who had showed up to help, somehow knew how to calm me by praying over me for strength and then proceeded to do what needed to be done to get us moved.
She had this calmness, this assurance about her. She embodied those words from that hymn --"they know we are Christians by our love."
She had that inner light -- that "difference" in her that let a stranger know that she was different because she knew Christ.


She was a giver. She gave to her church faithfully and handed her grand-children money "just cause." When she had heart surgery, a surgery of which she would not recover, David dealt with her bills and then eventually her estate -- her generosity became even more apparent to him as he dug into her finances, her checkbook, her savings. At the visitation before her funeral, many people told David and me of her passing them money when they were in need, just because she "had been blessed" and wish to.

*le sigh*

When I first met David, I couldn't get his mother's name correct. I wanted to give it this French flair by placing the emphasis on the second syllable, and David kept repeating it -- "May Don, MAY Don"; it ain't French, nut, it's country."

By the time David asked me to marry him [I actually asked him -- but that's another blog story], I finally could say MAY Don.

David's got some funky names in his family, but I guess they are no funkier than some hidden middle names in my mother's family. I grew up with the heavy name of Harriett, named after my mother's sister, and I could have been named Jemima, my maternal grandmother's name, or Elvira, my aunt's middle name, or even Adeline, after a great aunt.

*dodged that bullet*

I don't know why I couldn't get Madon's name straight.

{I guess there are stories my students could share where I had the same problem -- LOL}

I think of Madon almost every day when I go outside or pull in my driveway. When Madon died, our church community group bought a tree for us to plant in our yard in memory of her. We chose a red maple, which was planted in March of 2009.

Even though we are in the first days of November, Madon's maple has not quite turned even though the fall color has peaked in other places here in the South like at our mountain house in Rabun County.
I noticed that here in the 'burbs of Atlanta, we still have a lot of fall color left.

With the warm weather this week, the strong sunlight lit the leaves on the trees in my neighborhood to a new vibrancy.

Meanwhile as of today, Madon's maple primarily holds its green -- perhaps this is God's way of showing us that He always has something, sometimes something as simple as the color of a favorite tree, perhaps, for us to marvel over --- if we only would take the time.

I have.


but I know I have it.
The time, that is.


  1. What a beautiful remembrance of David's sweet mama.

  2. Lovely! Maybe David will read this entry.

  3. It sounds like she was wonderful!

    That is also the exact description of my paternal grandmother. She was the most wonderful, giving, Christian woman I have every met, and similar things were said of her at her passing as well.