|Telling her good-bye|
I know that in times of grief and loss we always (rightfully) focus on the good point of the person for whom we are grieving, but my Nan-Naw was truly extraordinary in the ways that meant so much to her grandchildren. She spent time with us. She and I spent hours talking on the phone after I moved away from Texas. She always had time. Always.
|Her 80th birthday|
She and J took us on trips, had us to their house one at a time, made Christmas a magical time, and did everything they could to make sure we knew they truly treasured us.
She wasn't thrilled when we joined the Mennonite church, but she and J didn't let that get in the way of loving us. They crossed the cultural boundaries, which I know was not easy. They accepted our spouses and loved our children, both the biological ones and the adopted ones. They loved us all and loved us well.
|Our whole family in 2012 with J and Nan-Naw in the front (the group is much larger now)|
She introduced herself to all of our friends as Nan-Naw. If you were a friend of her grandchild then she accepted you! I don't think very many of my friends know her first name. Even the ones she only knew as adults.
I have so many sweet memories. So many memories that we will be talking about and sharing for years to come. Her name is inscribed on each of her grandchildren's hearts because she always made sure we knew our names were inscribed on hers.
|Coming out to meet us at her house in 2013|
I don't know what life without Nan-Naw will be like. I don't want to know or think about it. But I do know that she was ready to go. She was peaceful and unafraid. She told us that she will be waiting for us in heaven. And she triumphed in death. She faced it bravely and though we grieve for her our hearts are comforted with these thoughts.
She told J she wants him to move closer to some of the family after she is gone because he will be able to see part of her in the little great-grandchildren. It is true she lives on in us and our children. Not only through genetic traits, but through her example of love and devotion.