The other day my Mom confided in me her sadness that my girls won't really be old enough to remember her. I reassured her that we talk about her often and have pictures of her around our house, so I had hopes that they will have memories of her. Then, out of the blue, the girls started talking even more about Mema. Here's what has happened over the course of a few days.
At the zoo Gia was starting to whine a little. When I asked her what was wrong, her reply was "There's no Mema here!". I wonder what made her think of her Mema at that moment. Maybe because we went to the zoo in Rochester one time with my Mom, but I'm pretty sure Gia was too young to remember that. Maybe not!
While riding in the car, Gia pointed at the empty passenger seat and exclaimed "Dat's Mema's seat!". She remembers my Mom sitting there one of the times we went for a visit.
Yesterday while cleaning up after lunch I said "Let me clean that angel face". Gia said "Mema say dat!". She's absolutely right. My Mom does call her Angel Face, and I had totally forgotten that. This child has a mind like a vault.
While packing for our upcoming road trip Tia and I were talking about who we would see in NY. She said "Mom, how 'bout we have breakfast with Nonna, and dessert with Mema?". I told her that was a good idea and then she said "Mema always has ice cream". Come to think of it, she's right. They have had ice cream just about every time we've gone to visit.
Then, this one takes the cake. Tia told me yesterday "Mom, Mema sometimes kisses me too hard". I tried not to laugh and asked if she would like me to have a talk with Mema and ask her not to kiss so hard, and be more gentle. She said that was a good idea.
So, my point is that even though the girls are very young, they have already established memories of their Mema. They know who she is and have associated her with certain things in their lives. I will continue to encourage them to talk about her and remember her fondly when she is no longer with us.
She will always be their Mema.