We are coming up on 1 year since my Nanny went to be in Heaven and you know something, I'm not sure it's any easier today than the day I got that phone call.
Until I was 5 years old I spent every single day of the week at my Nanny's house so in a way she was like a 2nd mother to me.
When I was younger, after my parent's divorced, I tried to spend as much time as I was allowed with her and I have some of the most amazing memories of this lady. As I became an adult and got too busy in my own life, I neglected seeing her as much and I hate it.
In my mind I always thought I would someday move back to our little town, the town where my Nanny and Papaw raised their children and established themselves, and I was going to take care of her after my Papaw was gone. Once I did live with her as an adult. It's again something no one can take from me but it was also sad because when I wanted to be the one taking care of her, she was busy taking care of me still. She would make sure I had dinner, she made sure my clothes were washed for work, she even hemmed a pair of my work pants when she saw they needed it after years of not sewing a thing because her eyes were bad.
It was never a secret that I was her favorite grandchild. She told everyone who would listen. She loved me the way no one else could love me. She never judged me when I was going through things or when I had a baby at 18 or when I went to jail for writing a bad check or when I felt forced to let my kids live with their dads, no, she didn't judge me but instead loved me more and never, not once, not one single time, did she ever turn her back on me.
That's one thing I admire most about a lady that none of you know. She loved. She loved with every ounce of herself. Sometimes she loved so much that it hurt her. It didn't matter to her what you had done or where you had been or what you had been through. My nanny would open her home, her life and her heart to everyone. Her brothers and sisters meant the world to her but as she got older and more people she loved started passing, I think it really hurt her way down deep and her heart was hurting most of all.
Oh how she loved all her grandbabies. She loved the all and there are a bunch of us. It didn't matter if you were a newborn baby or 6' tall or 500 pounds she wanted to touch you, hug you and make feel like someone loved you. My nanny was a good listener. I think this is the one thing I miss the most.
(this house and yard were once so beautiful)
When my cousin, Ellen, passed away I was 7 years old and she was 3. No one understood how much it hurt me. No one understand how a 7 year old grieves but somehow, some way, she understood and she made me feel just fine about it. We would sit and talk until I felt better even though she was hurt by the loss of a grandchild and hurting because I was hurting. Later in life I would just show up out of the blue and we would sit and we would talk for hours, sometimes I would stay the night and we would stay up all night talking. Her house was always a safe place for me to go. it was always home to me . When things weren't going great or I had too much on my mind, I would get in car and head Southwest for about 2 hours and she would be so happy to see me.
This is the very last photo my Nanny and I ever took together. I knew at that family reunion that she wasn't going to be around for the next one and I stayed up under her the whole time. When she got ever sicker and had to go to the hospital, it was so hard for me but I managed to pull myself together and go.
In her last days things were different because now she needed me to do everything for her. It was horrible because she was in so much pain and every little movement hurt her so badly. I have a million memories but you want to know which ones mean the most to me?
My very last visit with my nanny. That day JT and the kids were with me and she wanted to see the kids but then she wanted everyone to go away except me. Her skin was dry and the nurse was going to rub some lotion on her but she asked me to. She wanted to go for a walk and even tried to get me to go along with her escape plan lol. She got her hair cut but only if I was the one holding her glasses and I was the one that was bossing the lady around who was cutting her hair and she cried that day when I had to leave and it hurt me to my soul. She never cried when I left but someone how we both knew that we weren't going to be seeing each other on Earth again. That day was special because I got to be with her, just the two of us and as I brushed her hair before leaving I absorbed every single moment.
People say you should get over it, move on, stop crying, that your loved one is in a better place and I suppose in a way that is true but when you know the depths of someone's love and their life meant something to you it's not as easy to dry up the tears, to stop wishing they were here or to selfish long for them to be back with you on Earth. In a lifetime you may get one or two people who love you enough that without a thought they would lay down their very life yours. They will do things to feel connected and be close to you that you cannot put into words.
Right now I have a lot of my mind. I want to get in my truck and drive 2 hours and pull up at a white house, in a small town, walk through the squeaky gate, yell at the dog to shut-up while I walk through a screen door, hug her neck, sit in the chair beside her and have her listen to me and give me direction like she always had. I could still get in my truck, I could still drive 2 hours, still pull up in front of a small white house in a small little town but that's as far as it goes. If I wanted to see what remains, I have to driver a little further and go sit on the ugly brown grass and talk to a piece of rock and know that I won't feel her arms hugging me and that she can't answer me.
I am thankful for those who loved her and took care of her and did things for her like mow her yard, till her garden, bring her plants, talked to her, spent time with her. If you would have known her before she was sick, she had an amazing yard, could make anything grow...........she was special.