Sunday, February 24, 2013

For Bebe

Kathy, Me and Bebe at a beach vacation a couple
of years ago.
I’m Anne Williams Cadle – Bebe was my grandmother.  I want to share with you a few words from the perspective of her grandchildren.

  • She was the South in one lady - Beautiful elegant, strong independent and resilient

  • She was Scarlett o Hara meets Claree from Steel Magnolias 

  • She was linen napkins, silver flatware and sweet tea from a crystal glass

  • She wouldn’t wear white until Easter

  • Neverraised her voice but never dismissed or misunderstood

She taught me many things – so much about style, manners and men.  Men loved Bebe and she loved them!!!! 

After my grandfather, Albert Tatum, died I got to see Bebe on the dating scene.  She had many suitors.  A gentleman took us out to dinner at the yacht club for dinner.  There were 3 of us in the front seat.  I was in between the gentleman and Bebe. We pulled up and he leaps out.  I make a move to get out as well.  She put her hand on my shoulder signaling me to wait.  “Oh, no Anne,” she said.  Make him get the door.”  This little piece of advice stuck with me.  I used it when I began dating that man – it’s served me well. 

Her sense of style was impeccable.  She has a shoe collection that I believe Carrie Bradshaw would envy.  She wore heels everyday –… If it couldn’t be done wearing fabulous heels it wasn’t worth doing.  Another little tidbit that has served me well.

As a girl I would go into her closet and arrange her shoes by color.  I would try them all on and parade in front of her full-length mirror.  Last time I was in her closet I still found myself lusting after her shoes.   

This is a woman who has never worn a pair of jeans.  Kathy told me that not long ago she saw a friend with some cute white jeans on so she went and bought pair. Never worm them… I think of her in a crisp linen shirt, pants and of course fabulous shoes. 

Bebe was incredibly beautiful.  She had a talent for making thing beautiful – whether she was arranging flowers, decorating a room or making a room more beautiful with her very presence in it. 

Her home always appeared to be ready for a photo shoot from Southern living or to be featured on a tour of homes.  She has oriental rugs, antiques from New Orleans, crystal chandeliers and silk pillows. The grandkids always had complete run of the house – much to the chagrin of our parents.  

In her living room is a solid carved wood table.  I can attest to how solid this table is.  Through the years this table has served as a fort, a hiding place a step ladder, home base.  It’s a good barrier when someone is chasing you.  You can jump off of it, climb under it and run into it.  On top of this table sits an antique tea box.  I’ve never seen anything else quite like it.  It’s ornately carved wood, with carved feet and lined in red velvet – or it used to be.  A piece like this probably should have been put up.  But Bebe always kept it full of cards, games, candy and matchbox cards.   I hope the table and the tea box always remain together. 

Sure she was beautifully put together.  She was measured and not known for spontaneity.  At the same time she was terribly fun.  She loved to go to parties and no one could dance better than Bebe. She could throw a fun party.  

On trips she was always a good sport and game to do just about anything.  At my brother’s college graduation we must have walked 15 miles up and down hills over the 2 day affair.  By the end we were all pretty well griping about the walking and the people and the traffic.  But not Bebe.  She smiled and walked the whole time – and she was wearing heels of course. 

Maybe growing up the daughter of a farmer in Whatley, AL but she enjoyed the finer things life.  One Christmas she asked her husband, Pete, what he wanted for Christmas.  He replied that all he really needed was golf balls.  So Christmas morning Pete opened up some golf balls from Neiman Marcus.   She was a generous gift giver.  Something from Bebe was always special.  I got married on my birthday and had graduated college a week before – birthday and graduation gifts weren’t really something I’d planned to receive.  Bebe made sure I had a graduation gift.   

She lived a full, full life.  Over the last year especially I hope she felt loved, valued and respected. 

We she passed she didn’t linger.  Bebe was a lady above all else and a lady knows when to leave.  

The Bible talks a good deal about the promise of heaven and a beauty beyond comprehension.  If it’s even possible, I think heaven is a little more beautiful today because Bebe is there.

1 comment:

  1. That was beautiful, Anne. I am sure heaven is brighter with her there.... she was a loved lady, as you can tell through your sweet words about her. She was blessed to have you as her granddaughter...
    Love, Jane L.