Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tribute to Nana

(Here is something I posted 5 years ago. I can't believe Nana has been gone that long already. So many things I still wish I could share with her.)

The first memories I have of you were the visits we made when you and Grandpa lived in Libby, Montana. I loved seeing all of Grandpa’s rocks, eating your yummy pies, and feeling your warm hugs. At some point in time you both moved in with us and started the life of trekking back and forth between Montana and Georgia. 
One of my favorite pastimes throughout all the years was talking to you. At any given time of any day, your door was open to whoever came knocking. There was no secret that I ever kept from you, no fear that I didn’t share with you, and no joy that you weren’t one of the first that I wanted to tell it to. 
We spent year after year together, including one winter in the snow banks of Montana, a car accident, heart breaks, laughs, playing games, and so much more. When I was nine years old I was trying to decide what instrument I wanted to learn when you told me you had always wanted one of your grandchildren to play the violin. After weighing the options, that one came out far above the rest and I began the long, torturous journey of learning the violin. Day after day, week after week, you would faithfully listen to me squeak and squawk. It was on Mothers’ Day Sabbath that I played my first special music, your favorite hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, with you and Phoebe. 
Your favorite place to be was with young people, whether it was visiting us at Oklahoma Academy, Southern, going to orchestra concerts, or cheering at a Triathlon. You were “nana” to all my friends and made them feel like your own grandchildren. Whether you were quietly observing in a corner or sharing words of encouragement to a downcast friend, you were always an active part in my life. 
You said you wanted to live until Phoebe and I got married. I told you that you could pick my husband like Abraham’s servant did for Isaac, but you turned down the offer, assuring me that God would help me make that decision. 
My greatest fear about going as a student missionary this year to the Philippines was that something would happen to you while I was gone, and I know that you feared the same thing. You didn’t want to let me go, but you wouldn’t have wanted me to do anything different. The most important thing to you was to know that I was working for God. 
I was in my hut on Sunday morning in the mountains when I first found out you were in the hospital. I didn’t know what to think, but from what I heard you were responding well to the medications and would likely be back home in a couple days. Monday night I got the news that you were getting worse instead of better like they expected. Mom asked me if I wanted to come home—I didn’t want to think that you were actually sick enough that it would be necessary.  The next morning I talked to mom again and realized that you were really not going to last much longer and I couldn’t believe it. Tuesday afternoon I began the hike out of the mountains. Wednesday I made it to the lowlands, drove four hours to the capital, and flew to the main island where I spent the night. I was in the hotel late that night when I found out that you had died. You had died. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I was never going to feel your warm hug again. Never again would I feel your soft hands. You could never again tell me how much you loved me. I could never play my violin with you accompanying me on the piano again. Never again could I come to you with my tears and joys. No more would your prayers go before God’s throne on my behalf. I slept about three hours that night and began the 24-hour series of flights home. 
I keep thinking that you will come in the door and sit down to play the piano. I keep thinking the phone will ring and I will hear your voice on the other end. But it’s not going to happen. You are sleeping peacefully in the grave right now, and the next thing that you will see is the face of Jesus. As the tears flow down my face and my heart breaks, I can’t help but praise God. For one, I have the assurance that I will see you very soon when Jesus comes again. Also, there are not very many people that have the privilege of loving someone as deeply as I loved you. You were the most patient, kind, thoughtful, and selfless person that I have ever met. Thank you for reflecting God’s character to me. Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for loving me.   

1 comment:

Jonas said...


This is a beautiful tribute to Nana -- someone I remember with great fondness. Her joy for life was infectious, and her love for her family (and their many, many friends) was boundless.

I'm glad you reposted; it made me think of my own grandparents who are now all resting as they await Jesus' return. I'm thankful we have the hope to see them all again in the earth made new.