He asked me to send him four or five specific things I remember about her. It’s taken me three days to come up with something, and I’m still not satisfied with what I sent.
How can you sum up a person in just four or five things. I don’t have just four or five memories of her. I have hundreds, maybe thousands. And even the memories she didn’t play an active role in, she was still there, in the background somewhere.
I guess that’s one thing about her. She was always there. She worked, she ran errands, but she was always there, never too far from that house with that smell and that smile and that laugh.
She would take my sister and I grocery shopping with her when we stayed over a night. She’d go to Sam’s Club during the time when they give out free samples. She’d pick up a bag of grapes almost first thing and we’d munch on them throughout the store, sometimes only taking home a half-bunch (don’t worry, they weren’t sold by weight!).
When we stayed the night, she would make pancakes in the morning with eggs and bacon and sausage. She would help me up onto the corner counter, and I would be allowed to beat the batter. “No lumps,” she’d say. “Keep mixing.”
She kept a drawer in the kitchen full of interesting old kitchen gadgets she didn’t use anymore, like a mechanical egg beater, spoons, and bowls. We’d get them out and play “cooking” in the kitchen. Mom would tell us to move out of the walkway, but Nana… she never minded. She’d step over us.
She was honest about her mistakes in life, and honest about the mistakes of others, too. She worked hard to forgive. She prayed for us. She wished she could fix everyone’s problems, and you know, sometimes she did. Sometimes just talking to her would fix my problems, change my perspective.
She was funny. Oh, man, was that woman funny! And she had this little almost-chuckle, almost-snort thing she’d do when she’d said something funny. She once told me that she thanked God every day for her grandchildren, stretch pants, and salad-in-a-bag. 🙂
It is hard to say good-bye to a woman like that. I think I will most miss her smile. She didn’t get to smile very much her last months here, but I am confident she is smiling now.
I love you, Nana.