Yesterday we said our goodbyes to Nanaw at her graveside service in Mansfield, MO. Family gathered that hadn't been together in years to say goodbye to this cherished woman. The emotion was somber, but full of hope and peace for someone that we knew didn't have to suffer anymore- no longer lonely after losing her Husband in the 1970's. Her body lay at rest in a silvery blue casket, no longer sickly and broken, and her soul with Jesus.
I have been comforted lately by that very thing, going in and out of sadness and sobbing before old memories I know that we will never experience again on this Earth. But she is with Jesus. With only a few days left, I had never seen anyone so sure of where she was going. She was looking death in the eyes without fear or hesitation- nothing could scare her or shake her confidence. I praise God that she wasn't over taken by confusion and dementia-Gods grace poured over in those last moments we had with her-reassuring peace in our own hearts.
Memories we all had in her home-they stay with us. Cherry picking, running down her backyard hill, swinging on that yellow metal swing, tasting her blackberry cobbler like she made it, playing checkers at her house, listening to her say "I'd better test that chocolate cake to see if it's moist.." when really, I would chuckle at the thought that she just wanted to have dessert before dinner.
Her garden was full of cabbage, tomatoes, green beans, radishes that my dad would eat whole with just a sprinkle of salt. She would whoop your hiney if you were up to no good, and would always tease you about it, but was the sweetest little lady I've ever known and loved.
Her presence was still there yesterday, even though we knew she was gone. With told stories of the things she would say, the love letters written between Pappy and her while he was in the war, how all the granddaughters inherited her long locks of hair.
I have placed small items of hers around the house, practical and sentimental-the small and clear shot glass on my kitchen window seal, the cream tea kettle that will always warm my heart when it begins to whistle. The few photos I have of her, the bible I placed on my mantle, filled with newspaper clippings, and locks of hair tied with pink ribbon that we may never know whose they are. Her black metal stapler on my desk--all of these things won't keep me from missing her less or replace who she was in my life, but in some way-she will be in my home through these things, and I pray also through the work of my hands, the keeping of our home and serving others in it.
I woke up thankful this morning for the utmost grace and goodness of The Lord-knowing without hesitancy that she is with Him and with loved ones that have passed over the 93 years she lived. I rejoice in The Lord today, while my heart still weeps of missing her-I know she is better off in the arms of my savior than my own.
Rest in peace Nanaw and don't forget to tease the others just a little.
I Love you so much.
Until we meet again,