Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Tribute to Nana

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. You have to forgive me. So much has happen over the last 8 months. And much of these things I am still trying to come to terms with. As most of you know I lost my mother in January. The following is tribute my niece Rebekah worte for her.

Thank you for being here today as we gather not to say goodbye, but to say see you later to a wonderful person. Even in death, Frances, my grandmother, my Nana is still with us. Whether it is a gerbera daisy blooming in the spring, a Rod Stewart song playing on the radio or someone enjoying a piece of watermelon on a hot summer day we can see reminders of her everywhere we look.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” The word delight is defined as “something that gives great pleasure.” Nana was truly a delight to those who knew her and she delighted in living life. She loved to travel. She and her two closest friends, Jimmie and Johnnie, otherwise known as The Golden Girls, packed their bags and went to places many of us only dream of going. She always had a smiling face and a warm embrace to offer. My grandmother was one of the kindest, sweet spirited people I’ve ever known. Josh might beg to differ as she got after him with a fly swatter a time or two, but I’m sure he deserved it.

Nana was a strong woman. She survived a world war, a great depression, a civil rights movement, and she put up with Leon for 65 years; that in and of itself was a feat. She raised five great kids and helped bring up her three grandchildren.

She spent 20 years working on a street corner. She wasn’t the kind of crossing guard we fear. You know the ones blowing their whistles and waving wildly as you drive by. She was kind and considerate, impacting lives without even realizing it.

Nana loved to cook and we all loved to eat. She spent many hours in her tiny kitchen on Susan Drive whipping up this and that, making sure supper was on the table by noon every day for Papa.

It’s the little things that make up a year and the years that make up a life. It’s the little things that make memories and I have an abundance of those. As I prepared for today, I sat and tried to remember my earliest memory of Nana, but there are so many truly special moments that they all jumble up and I can’t recall which was first. My grandmother and I shared a special bond and I will never forget the times we shared. She was always up for doing what I wanted to and never rushed

Growing up I’d spend summers at her house where we’d walk with the ladies at the church and deliver meals on wheels. Whenever I was sick, I always went to Nana’s. She’d take care of me and cook my favorite meal – chicken and dumplings. In the later years of her life I’d spend at least one day a week with her going to the grocery, taking her to the doctor, cleaning the house, whatever she needed done. No matter how old I was or what we were doing, Nana always tried to make everything special. We often sat in the living room where she always had a good story to tell and advice to offer. When I needed a shoulder to cry on or just wanted to ramble about my life, she was always there to listen.

Consistent – that’s was Nana was. Always there for anyone who needed something, anyone who needed her. A friend, a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife, and sister. Not many people are blessed with the opportunity to know someone steadfast and true like Nana was. We should all be thankful for the years we had with her. It’s hard to put into words what Nana meant to me and to everyone in this room. She was a special lady that will be dearly missed. I’m sure each of you here today could tell a story of how she touched your life. Nana wouldn’t want us to mourn her death, but to celebrate her life.

We may no longer see her, but she will always hold a special place in our hearts and is looking down on us from Heaven. I’ll end today by reading a poem she chose for her service many years ago.

Miss Me but Let Me Go.

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

Why cry for a soul set free

Miss me a little - but not too long

And not with your head bowed low

Remember the love that we once shared

Miss me - but let me go

For this is a journey that we must all take

And each must go alone

It's all a part of the Master's plan

A step on the road to home

When you are lonely, and sick of heart

Go to the friends we know

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds

Miss me - but let me go