This has been a crazy week for me. Friday evening, I learned that Nanny (my pet name for my Grandmother) had passed away. She was 88 years old.
For the rest of Friday, I was numb. Saturday, I was angry. Sunday, it was just a dull ache that, even a week later, hasn’t subsided much. Even as I’m writing this, it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that she’s really gone.
We had the Wake on Monday, and she was buried on Tuesday. We had family and friends, some of which I hadn’t seen in years, come from North Carolina and Tennessee.
My Nanny was much more than a Grandmother to me. On several occasions, we had to move in with her after we moved back to the area. When my parents divorced, she was there for us. With my Papa (my Grandfather) she took us down to Disney World during that time.
She was wisest person I knew, and she was well read. Her best friend held a doctorate and Nanny, despite never getting more than a high school education could hold her own in any conversation. She could comfortably discuss the philosophies of Jung, and it was Nanny that introduced me to Emerson, Thoreau and C.S. Lewis.
She led an incredible life, and served in the second World War as a marine. That’s right, don’t mess with me, my Nanny was a marine! She was buried with full military honors, and I was very proud of her service. She was an artist and had her own art school for a while. She always wanted you to look deeper, so see the individual leaves on the trees, rather than just a mass of green. I have two of her paintings hanging in my house, and soon I’ll have a couple more. She loved to do still life paintings and was deeply influenced by the Impressionist period.
My dad let me say a few words at her funeral, and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.
Nanny always loved you just for who you were. It didn’t matter what you had done, or hadn’t done. It didn’t matter what great thing you might one day accomplish. She loved you all the same, and in this way, she taught me what it truly means to love.
The thing she loved above all else was her family. It was everything to her, and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for her family. It speaks to the woman she was that both her ex-daughter-in- laws were there. She always maintained the bonds even after their marriages to her sons were over. They still called her ‘Mom’. She fought for us, and she cared for us. She was a homemaker, an artists and a patriot. But most of all, she was my Nanny.
The one thing that has given me peace this week is that I know she knew how much I cared for her, and how much I loved her.
I will always miss her, and I will never forget her.