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Nanny

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April 11, 2010

As Aunt Mae succinctly said, it is the natural order of things.  This is the way it is supposed to happen; the children bury their parents.  While that may be true, it’s still hard to let go.  You tell yourself you’re ready, and foolishly believe you’re prepared, only to discover when it really happens, you’re not…  Yesterday I bid farewell to another titan of my youth…

She had been sick for quite a while; several years, in fact.  About a month ago my mom called and said to come; hospice felt the end was near...  She was frail, her tiny frame lost in a sea of bedcovers; she was obviously in pain, her body failing, struggling to keep up the good fight…  As we left her that day, John leaned over and said “I love you”; she immediately replied, “Thank you”…  For some reason, this made me giggle then, just as it does now…

My father’s mother, our beloved Nanny, finally departed this world on April 8 at 1:44 p.m. 

My sister Betsy called to break the news; in the minutes that followed, a heavy fog descended…  My ability to focus and concentrate evaporated; I cried my way home and crawled into bed to escape my headache.  Another Thursday…it happened close to the exact time that we learned Brian was gone, one year and ten months ago…

The last few days have been a struggle; I’ve wrestled with myself over every choice imaginable, no matter how simple or complicated.  Once again, I found myself stuck in the land of indecision.  I didn’t know where to be, how I felt, what to do or how to choose…  Should we rush to Columbia to be with my dad, or stay home and avoid it a bit longer? (We waited until Friday.)  Do I pull something from my closet or buy an appropriate outfit? (Shopping failed; the snug slacks had to suffice.) Do we stand in the receiving line? (Couldn’t do it; not strong enough to handle that.)  Should we go up to say goodbye?  (Incapable of this too, each for our own reasons.)

Just prior to the beginning of the memorial service, I told my aunts Nancy and Judy, “You can do this, because you do what you must.”  I’m sure they had no idea I said it as much for myself as for them…  The closing hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul” almost sent Beth and me sprinting from the chapel; the soloist told the story behind it first.  We had no idea that was coming, so we were caught off guard…  Following the hearse to the cemetery was chaotic and confusing…I kept having flashbacks… We made it through, though the timeline felt uncomfortably similar…  To be completely honest, at times I wasn’t sure who I was crying for…  Part of me wanted to run away, to withdraw; this daughter, granddaughter and niece wanted to escape reality.  I didn’t care to cope with all of the emotions stirred up in my household either…  These mental wars of mine continue to rage…

My Nanny lived to the wonderful old age of eighty years and eight-plus months; though she suffered mightily near the end, she did so without complaint…  She led a long, colorful, beautiful life, and was greatly loved by many.

I sit here this evening, wishing I had been stronger for my family, all while knowing I did the best I could this weekend, given where I am in my life right now.  I am very grateful Nanny is at peace and hurts no more…    

I’m hoping Brian met her at Heaven’s gate and welcomed her home with a hug and a big smile…

Wishing you sunshine and hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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