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Thursday, July 31, 2008

leaving a legacy....

Two years ago today my Nannie passed away at 86 years old. I was very close with my Nannie. She was the type of woman that everyone wanted to strive to be like. Nannie was that woman who could sit in a room and not say a word at all but you knew what she was thinking. She was softspoken but yet knew when to speak up. She was petite, standing only 4'10, white hair, crooked smile and pale skin. Everyone tells me I am her twin- when I was younger I don't think I took that very well - I always thought, why would someone young like me want to look like an elderly woman? Boy, was I naive. When people tell me that today, I take pride and happiness in hearing those words. It really is an honor to embodie any quality of her. Everyone always knew when Nannie walked into the room. She had a presence about her that calmed and soothed the room. She never complained if she was in pain or not feeling well, she just dealt with it. She was a strong woman. She was gentle and loving and had to hug everyone she saw. I took those hugs for granted sometimes. She really is the most gentle person I know, the most Godly woman I know, the most respected woman I know, the most generous, self-less, patient, sincere, loving, kind-hearted woman I know.

Nannie always made sure her family knew that they were loved by her. Every holiday, and when I say every, I mean every, she would send all of her grandkids a card in the mail. Easter, St. Patricts Day, Valentines Day , etc..... a card was always sitting in your mail box. And inside that card was always $5 dollars with a little note from Nannie. As I was cleaning out my room the other day I found one of the last cards she had given me and it was for Valentines Day. Her note said this..." Kellianne... use this money and treat yourself to a bag for valentine candy." Nannie didn't have a lot of money but she always wanted us to feel loved. For christmas she always had stocking stuffers for EVERYONE in the family. We have a very large family, at least 20 of us, probably more. She would go shopping and hand-pick everything that would go in each of bags. She wanted to make it personal because she wanted us to feel loved by her. Every year, all of us would go to Nannie's house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Day is when we got to open our stocking-stuffer bag. I know this part was everyone's favorite. Forget the stuff we got for Christmas, we wanted our stocking-stuffer goodies from Nannie. She recycled the bags every year and everyone would always get the same one. My bag had a cat on it, I still have that bag. It's those traditions that she has made that have stuck with our family. Holiday season was Nannie's favorite because she got to be with all her kids, grandkids and great grandkids.

Nannie never had any "step" children. Meaning, my mom was always her daughter, she loved her like she was her own. She took in everyone we brought to her house. Brandon was accepted the minute she laid eyes on him. She treated him like he was her grandchild. Nannie always had everyone's favorite food at her house. Sodas, chips, canddy, you name it. It was there for her family. She didn't drink or eat that stuff, it was bought for us. For birthdays she would always make your favorite pie or dessert. For holidays she would do the same. She loved her family and it was very evident.

Nannie has left a legacy for our family. A legacy that will continue to go on as years pass. At her funeral I had the privelage to speak and talk about the legacy she has left behind. It was one of the most proud yet sad days of my life.

Today is a sad day but yet you can't help but smile because she is at the place she always wanted to be, heaven. I know they threw a party when she arrived. I miss her beyond belief and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her. My cousin Cale told me that she is in heaven making all of our dreams come true. He's right. Nannie was that person who you thought was going to live forever and well even though she isn't in the flesh, she is living in our hearts......forever. We will continue her legacy.

Although Nannie won't be physically present at the wedding she is will be there in spirit. At my last show my Aunt Rena ( Dad's sister) gave me Nannie's wedding rings and hankerchief to use for the wedding. Of course, I broke down and started crying. It meant a lot to me that Aunt Rena would let me use Nannie's rings. So Nannie will be there on the most important day of my life.

That's my story of my Nannie. I apologize for being so gloomy and whatnot. It seems as though ever since Nannie passed away I cry can at the drop of a pin. (My wedding day will be a cry fest, I'm sure.) Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is doing well out in blogger land!