I stood behind a woman in church the other day that reminded me of Nanny. My mom’s mom, my grandma, but who we’ve always called Nanny. She’s in heaven now, but as I age I think more and more about her. And who she was to us grandkids. Nobody has a perfect family, and every memory is full of emotion; some good, some bad. But it’s family. And it’s who we are. And this is what I thought about during that service.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on WHY this woman reminded me of Nanny. I think it was a combination of things. Her coat, which was a London Fog-type of raincoat, which she kept on throughout the service. She stood both proudly and a little stooped at the same time. She had a young adult granddaughter with her, who was emotional. I could tell that this woman was worried about the granddaughter because when the younger woman left the service, the Nanny-person kept looking back to see if she was coming back. This woman’s face, though, had the most impact on me. Her skin was gentle but wrinkled, her smile was quick to appear and transformed her face, and her worry evaporated when she smiled.
Although I cry at lots of stuff these days (so it’s not all that unusual), tears stung my eyes as I murmured the words of the praise songs the congregation was singing. The tears started because I watched this woman worry about her grand child even while she carried on with the business of worship. I could tell she had a vested interest in the girl, and wanted her both at church and by her side, because then she’d know she was safe.
All this makes me miss my Nanny. I miss her little laugh that could turn into almost a cackle of delight whenever we grandkids goofed around. I miss her cooking with love – which she did to show us she loved us. I miss her little rain coats, which she usually kept on whenever she left the house. Some of you may remember her black shoes; she also had a tan pair.
Bags of Weaver’s chips, tupperwares of chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, that weird toast they used to make. It was like thin-sliced bread and some brand that we never bought in Hastings.
Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of us. At the stretched table at 4400 High Street. Thanks, Nanny; I love you.