April 21, 2012

Dear Nana...

Today, for the first day in my entire life, I woke up without my Nana here on Earth. It's a weird feeling. Even before the days of cell phone and cheap long distance calls, she called our house EVERY Sunday at 7:00 (maybe 8...) to talk to us about our weeks. When I was really little, she lived in Memphis like us, but then she lived outside of Chicago for a while, then she and my Grandpa made the move to the big town of Dover, TN to spend their retirement. Regardless of how far away she was, we talked and talked and talked. I spent at least one week and many weekends in Dover throughout the years with my grandparents--sometimes with Rob and my parents, sometimes friends would go with me, sometimes my cousin Jena, sometimes all alone.We'd sit up for hours just chatting and watching TV.

Almost every time I visited in Dover, Nana would give my money for a simple chore and tell me not to tell Grandpa. And every single time, Grandpa would do the same thing. About two and a half years ago, I lost my Grandpa. Yesterday I lost my Nana. Doesn't seem real.

Nana was, without a doubt, the greatest woman in the entire world. No offense to the other women in my life because I'm sure they would agree. She was really smart, very independent (I'm sure that went over real well back in the old days), always cheerful, beautiful and simply a blessing. She was someone who truly loved unconditionally, no matter what. She just loved and accepted people--simple as that. I'm sure it happened in all her years of life, but I really can't ever think of a time when she said a bad word about anybody. She certainly didn't agree with everyone, but she had a unique ability to just love and accept everyone, faults and all.

This morning it hit me that she's in Heaven with my Uncle Rex. It probably sounds stupid, but I was jealous. My Uncle Rex passed away when I was about 6 months pregnant with Easton. Rex was one of the greatest men I've ever known, and I think about him often. Now, my Nana is up there visiting with him and Aunt Kat (Rex's wife, Nana's sister, who passed away when I was in middle school). Wow. That's awesome. I'm sure she had quite a reunion with so many loved ones we've lost along the way. One day, I'll be there, too. That's the blessing in all of this. It may sound trite, but it does help to know that death is truly overcome by Jesus, and Nana is no longer hurting or struggling to breathe. She's breathing, running, healthy and whole.

Selfishly, I'm sad for me and my kids and my family. I'm sad that if Greg and I have another baby one day, he or she won't know Nana. But I know that we'll tell any future babies about Nana, and we'll always talk about her with Macey and Easton.

You know, Easton is really too little to know what's going on, but Macey understands that she won't see Nana anymore. Last night, we explained to her that Nana was so sick that she had to go live with Jesus in Heaven to feel better again. She thought on that for a minute, then said, "Nana's all better!"

Yes, my sweet girl, Nana is all better. 

Nana at my college graduation (December 2006)
Nana with my Macey girl (July 2009)
Mom, Nana, Macey and me (July 2009)
E Paul and Nana (Easter 2011)

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