Monday, July 27, 2015

Mourning My Nana

Today, July 27, 2015, my Nana left this world...2 days before her 81st birthday.

For those of you who know me well, you know what this means...what she meant to me. Means to me.

I got the call this morning from my dad just after 6. She actually passed away in the wee hours of the morning, but he waited. I'm grateful. I wasn't surprised. I kind of knew it was going to happen.

I cried on and off for a few minutes. I needed to get up, but I told Josiah, I just couldn't. I just couldn't get out of the bed and start my day because as soon as my foot hit the floor, that would be me starting my life...without her. 

But then he said, "You'll never start a day without her. You never have and you never will. She's been such a big part of who you are and who your dad is, there's no way to start your day without her."

So, with tears and snot and a mourning, but grateful heart, my day began. I stepped out of the bed...and time marches on.

I am so infinitely grateful. I'm sad, but really...not everyone gets a person like my Nana: someone who thinks the sun rises and sets in you, who believes in you no matter how many times you screw up, who calls you her "angel face" and sends you stuff with angels on it to remind you that's how she sees you...and who taught me about Jesus.

Most importantly, my Nana taught me who Jesus was. She showed me his love. She gave sacrificially. She LOVED.

Avery and I were already set to fly out for her birthday. Now, that will be her memorial. And that's okay. God knew. He knows. I would love to have seen her and talked to her one last time, but that's okay. It would have hurt her so much to see little Avery and not be able to hold her and love on her and kiss her little neck.

That was her spot for kissing the babies...where she said all the good "sugar" was, and goodness knows...she loved sugar from the babies.

She didn't get to meet little Avery, but she saw A LOT of pictures, and she met Destiny and's almost the same thing.

But she also named little Avery. She named her last great-grandchild while she was living. Sweet Avery Truth...your Great-Nana named you...because we couldn't name you Hilda Faye after her...and she was more than okay with that.

It's a weird time for me. I'm just flooded with memories. I got my strong fingernails from her. I would sit next to her at church or early in the morning on their porch screen and she would run her fingernails over the palm of my hand. I loved it so much. I do it with my kids sometimes now.

She made the best banana pudding I've every had in my entire life. It was legendary.

She always smelled like Clinique Aromatics Elixer. I didn't even know it existed until well into my twenties when I passed someone else who smelled just like my Nana, and I almost turned around in the grocery store to hug her...instinctively. I thought it was only her...that was just my Nana. After that, I would visit the Clinique counter sometimes to spray some on a sample paper and keep it in my purse or wallet. Just so I could smell her every now and then.

I may even do it today. I might take my tears and snot right up into the mall, and spray it on a piece of paper and inhale love. I'll break down right there at the counter, and it won't matter one bit.

That was my Nana. She always smelled great and looked beautiful. She loved her "bling" and she accessorized like it was nobody's business. She loved having her hair done by my Aunt Tee because she's the best...and she always liked to look her best.

She was absolutely beautiful inside and out. 

She was my person. My person I called for everything...every joy, every sorrow, every triumph, and every defeat.

I am grieving from the depths of my soul...places I didn't even knew existed, but it's like my sweet sis-in-love, Jamie, told me (because it's what she was told when her sweet grandmother passed away)..."The pain you're feeling is merely a reflection of how much you love her and were loved by her. It is a reflection of how wonderful the relationship was."

And that couldn't be more true. 

She's with Jesus now. She is with perfect love. I'm okay with that. I'm grieving and messy and mourning...but I'm okay.


  1. Sweet Alissa, I cry with you. I love you, and I am praying for you and all your people who loved her so much. I am so thankful you had her. I promise she really will always be with you. Trust me. I am praying you are overwhelmed with the sweetness of Jesus' perfect love and that you see Him in so many beautiful ways as you travel through this grief journey. He is close to the brokenhearted, and I have already witnessed His Light shining through your broken heart. You are so beautiful and so loved and I am here for whatever you need. xoxooxox

  2. Alissa as I read this heartfelt tribute to your Nana, with tears running down my face I feel your pain. But I also know that with your strong connection with God that you will indeed be ok. 💘 to you and the rest of the family.

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