Today is a terrific day. The good Lord finally took my Nanny to Heaven where she will suffer no longer. She will not suffer from Alzheimer’s that claimed her brain over 10 years ago. She will not suffer any earthly troubles. Please don’t misunderstand, I type this with tears in my eyes. I mourn her loss greatly. I’m not going to pretend that I was active in her life. I loved her dearly and certain family issues kept me from visiting her more often. I will say that she KNOWS I love her greatly. Her impact on my life was enormous. To me, she was Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart. She kept an immaculate house, cooked like a trained chef, and had tea every afternoon with homemade ginger snaps topped with a “spot of butter”. She made everything from scratch. A meal either had courses or plenty of sides. My grandmother immigrated from Newfoundland. She has a lot of English influence hence the tea every afternoon. Everyone giggled at dinners because she would always say ” does anyone need a little _______ up their end?” in her Newfoundland accent. She was so proper but knew exactly what she was saying. It was just something she grew up with “Would you fancy a spot of tea?” as we’ll.
I had 9 grandparents, with my steps. My Nanny was my dads mom. She was my last remaining grandparent. She was 89. My dads dad, Pop-Pop passed away almost 15 years ago.
I would love to write a post about my relationship with each grandparent. Each was special. Each taught me great lessons or skills. Each loved me and I love them.
Today, though is about Nanny.
Days before her passing I received news she was doing poorly. I got daily updates. Yesterday I started having vivid memories. Doing nightly stretches with her was one memory. I guess that’s where I learned that great routine. Rolling her hair with pink rollers Saturday evening before church on Sunday.
I can only imagine how her hair looked after a 7-8 year old used pink styrofoam rollers on it. Sleeping with her, waking up with my head at the foot of the bed and my foot in her mouth. I had to make sure my feet were clean before going to bed. I still do this. Memory upon memory flood my head. Her scent. Her house. I can still probably tell you where everything in her house was. I remember stapling my hand to her island counter. The marks are still there. Too many memories for me to bore y’all with. But I had them and her scent for a reason. She came to say bye. How so I know this?
About 20 years ago my moms mom, Grandma, died. I had no clue she was in the hospital yet. The morning she passed away in the corner of my room I saw an angel. She looked and smelled like my grandma and said she loved me. She was gone in the blink of an eye. I went back to sleep. When I woke up we got the call she had passed.
About 8 years ago a close family friend got killed in a car accident. That afternoon unbeknownst to me I became overwhelmed with grief. Crying. I called my mom who lived 14 hours away. I didn’t know what to do. That’s when she told me what happened to our family friend. Then I knew what to mourn and settled down.
I’m in no way shape or form a psychic and boy do I wish my other grandparents presented theirselves to me. That type of experience would be considered once in a lifetime for most. Luckily I’ve been blessed with 3. My Great Aunt Dot, the lady in the middle of the picture below did have psychic abilities. I hope to tune mine in one day.
Nanny met my PopPop when he was in the Army and she worked at the photo shop at Niagra Falls. They had one meeting. He told her when he came back from his tour he would come get her and they were to be married. That is exactly what happened. She was an Army wife. Living all over the world with 5 kids must have been trying. She was a perfectionist. She didn’t clean. She scrubbed. She didn’t do anything half way. Her sense if humor was sacastic, quick and innocent. She loved animals. Her dogs and birds were her life once her kids all moved out. She had a piano but I don’t even know if she played. You couldn’t safely take a shower when we were all visiting Nanny and PopPops. Locks were picked and ice buckets were dumped. She loved a good steak and baked potato. Everything she made was delicious. She had a secret candy stash that only I knew about ( I’m sure everyone knew about it but she made me believe only me. That was special). She preferred to hang her clothes outside to dry. She had a plum tree with the best plums you ever had. She let me play with her Rolodex. I would call with the rotary dial phone everyone in the Rolodex. I would tell them who I was. She didn’t care. She had a special box of cereal just for me. I would sit with my Pop Pop and have a bowl as a bed time snack. She brought me to the beach and lifted me above the waves. She brought me to church. I watched her cook. Helped her cook and clean. Floods of memories come back. My Nanny in her younger days couldn’t be stopped.
The best way I can describe Nanny’s last years is like tuning in a radio. Looking for a signal. Some days the signal is clear. Some days, most days, I can only imagine the static that filled her head.
Today she soars with the other angels. I wonder who met her when she arrived?? I wonder the feeling of bliss she had reaching heaven? One thing I know for sure is she no longer is trapped in her body. Her brain no longer holds her hostage. She is free. I see her smile, hear her laugh, see the joy all around her.
Today is terrific for she suffers no more! Hallelujah!
I would love to read comments or stories about your relationships with your grandparents. Please share!