I stood at the bookcases in our family room yesterday, searching the shelves for a certain skinny, blue-spined paperback. I had done a quick “once over” a few times, when my eyes stopped short on Bread for the Journey. My heart ached immediately, knowing it was a book my Nanny had given me several years ago. As I pulled it from the shelf, I said out loud, “Oh please let her have written in the front of this book…” I turned several pages before finding it, but as I finally found the page, I cannot explain the relief that came over me.
Knowing she is gone from this earth; released from her pain, and finally restored to the perfection in which she was created, I was looking for something to hold on to. Something tangible apart from the dozens of memories that have flooded my mind the past few days. I have a few objects…some clothing, a purse or two, pictures of us together, but I wanted something that was her. I ran my fingers across the words she had written. Her handwriting is just one of many ways I identify her in my mind. I pulled out recipe cards she had written for Thanksgiving dressing and cranberry relish. Tears filled my eyes as I read the lyrics she had jotted down from memory to one of our favorite songs. Oh, her handwriting; and so many other things…
My sweet Nanny. She rarely went a day in her entire adult life without wearing pantyhose. I remember her running around the house getting ready for anything and everything (always rushing because she would be late) in nothing but her bra and pantyhose. If the doorbell happened to ring as she was making a run from her room to the kitchen (which she seemed to do quite often as she got ready) she wouldn’t think twice about opening it wide to whomever. Only after it registered who was at the door, would she try to cover herself with a couple of not-near-big-enough arms and rush back to her room for a robe.
I remember flying with her as a young girl, then as a young lady, and even as a young mother….she always carried an apple or two in her purse accompanied by a white pearl-handled paring knife wrapped in a paper towel. She loved apples. So do I. I still cannot imagine how she got on the plane all those times with that knife.
I cannot smell original Caress soap without thinking of her.
I can smell her coffee breath kisses as I type this.
I cannot imagine not seeing her the next time we go back to Texas.
Although, I also cannot imagine her anywhere other than in the presence of her Lord and Savior whom she loved so dearly.
During this week where we celebrate the many blessings we have to be thankful for, I am thankful for 36 years of knowing, loving, and being loved by my Nanny.
I’m also thankful for those around me that I still have the joy of loving and being loved by. What a treasure; every day truly is a gift. May I live in a way that shows the love I have for each of them, and may I reflect the love of my Heavenly Father in their lives as well.