I sing to Mabel every night.
"Dance, Dance wherever you may be. I am the Lord of the dance, said He...
I'll lead you all, wherever you may be; I will lead you all in the dance said He."
And I think of her.
It's been 6 years today since the Lord took Nanny to Heaven.
I write about it every year.
Did you know that I adored her?
I did. I can remember laying in her bed as a little girl and asking her to wrap her arms around me (the same way Nora asks me to do now) and she would. She would rub my back for hours. I remember the way she smelled and how her skin felt. I remember her laugh and the funny things she said.
Despite where life took her, she loved deeply. Her heart was huge and giving.
Life wasn't good to Nanny in alot of ways. There were people who were good to her--and I pray I was one of them, but life was hard for her emotionally.
She had many brothers and sisters that were much older than her--all who died early. She buried them all, along with her parents well before I was born. Most of them were addicts of some sort and died terrible, young, unnecessary deaths.
And yet, Nanny loved.
Nanny & Pawpy's only son, my Uncle Bo, died just a few short months before Nanny did. He was an addict too. He died young and tragically. Nanny loved that boy; much like I love Braden, I assume.
[and I'd give anything to hear her say I'll make it.]
I just know in my heart that she couldn't live without him. It was just too much.
I'll never forget the way that Nanny picked her thumbs when she was nervous or the way her nails looked when she grew them long. She wore a pretty opaque color of polish on them and her skin looked like porcelin. Even at her very worst, I loved her greatly.
Even in her deepest despair, she was strong and brave. I watched her hold my Pawpy's hand as Uncle Bo was carried out of his house and I saw the anguish on their faces. In my heart I knew then that she wouldn't live long without her boy.
Some times it doesn't even feel real to write about her not being here.
And I can't believe how hard it is sometimes, even after all these years.
Some of the hardest parts of raising these children has been knowing that she hasn't gotten to be a part of that with me. And it angers me that some who are here--and could be a greater part of their lives--choose not to be.
She would have loved them so much.
Aunt Suni and Uncle Bo were born one year apart--to the day!
They were wild and mischievous and tested her every single day. If I had just one wish, it would be to spend even 5 minutes asking her to re-tell those stories of how she made it through.
I suppose what's most important is that she did make it through those hard years of raising small children and she was a wonderful grandma to us.
I believe she prided herself most in that.
The day that she died 6 years ago was actually quite beautiful.
Mom, Jeni and I went to the hospital to see her. She had been there 2 weeks.
On this particular day we brought a curling iron and we did her hair. Shortly after we left, Pawpy came and spent the afternoon with her. I would like to believe that he reassured her in that moment, whether in his voice or by his love, that it was ok to go on to Heaven.
She rested well and I think we all felt really great knowing that we got such intimate time alone with her.
6 years ago I learned that death is no respecter of age or of persons.
It was a valuable life lesson.
God has an ultimate plan and thankfully eternity is the reward.
Nanny was a mother, grandmother, wife, aunt, and friend.
She knew that I was pregnant with Nora, so she was also a soon to be great grandmother.
Clinging to my memories today and cherishing her for all she was to me.
Happy Anniversary to my parents.
Just look at all you've created--a family who adores you and stands beside you.