Keller: Remembering “Maw-Maw Jello”

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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My mother passed away 17 years ago at age 95. This past Tuesday, May 20, would have been her 112th birthday. When my dad died she became a widow age 47. When asked why she never remarried, she would say that no one could ever take the place of her husband, Louis.

She was a great wife and mother to me, my brother Mark, and sisters Lille and Judith. She loved and enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was so proud of them.

She even made having a bad cold an unforgettable experience for me. At night she would rub my chest with Vicks VapoRub, put a warm flannel on it, and give me a hot toddy, which is a drink of whiskey, hot water, sugar and lemon juice. When I was older and had a slight cold, I would force a cough and ask for that special, personal treatment, especially the hot toddy.

She loved to serve people. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren called her “MawMaw Jello.” The reason for this is because she always had Jello for them when they visited which they enjoyed so much. What made it so special was the love and excitement she had when they called her “Maw-Maw Jello.”

She did more than her share of babysitting (mostly for my kids). Looking back, I think we took advantage of her, but she never complained.

When she was older and needed attention, especially at night, we took turns sleeping at her house. Toward the end of her life, she was little confused. One night I asked her how many children she had. She hesitated, so I said, “You have four children (two girls, Lillie and Judith, and two boys, Harold and Mark). Trying to be cute, I then asked, “Who did you like the best — Harold or Mark?” Without hesitating she said, “Mark. Harold always thought he knew everything.” (My wife is in full agreement with that statement!)

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084 or call (985) 652-8477.