Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nana's Service

 We had Nana's service on Saturday.  It was an emotional day.  But a good day.  We had a family friend do the service and eulogy.  Then I stood and read this:

                                                                  NANA
I think each of you here knows what a huge part of our lives that Nana was.  And how much each one of us loved her.  Nana had a very special relationship with each one of us.  All FIVE generations!  Today, I want to tell you a little bit about my relationship with Nana.  For me, this relationship really developed in my late teens and adult life. When my brothers and I were little, Nana always worked.  Of course we spent holidays together, and there were many visits.  But it wasn't until she retired in 76' that we would get the chance to spend a lot of time together.  When all of her grandkids began to have babies, Nana was first in line to hold, rock and cuddle.  Not only was Nana close to all of her grandkids, and her great grandkids, she was crazy about her three great-great grandkids.  That adoration was mutual for each and every one of us!
I had the great pleasure to go along on several trips with Nana.  She was always ready for an adventure, whether it was a trip to the mall, or a weekend away, her bags were packed and ready to go.  We went to Hawaii.  To Tennessee, where we visited The Grand Ole Opry and Dollywood.  We traveled country roads, and stamped white horses, and big trucks of hay would take our wishes away  We would often share a room on these trips and chat into the night.  We went on a cruise and shared a tiny room and bathroom, and a lot of laughs.  Spent many an hour on the swing at our family cabin in Big Bear, watching the birds and squirrels, often waiting for one of her famous lemon merinque pies to come out of the oven.  At our beloved Bass Lake though, there is one memory that stands out in my mind.  We were to be celebrating her 80th birthday on this trip and she jokingly teased that she would ride around the lake on a jet ski in a string bikini to celebrate this big event.  Well, lucky for me, while shopping in the village, I happened to find the teeniest, tiniest string bikini.  So I bought it for her big ride.  We all got a good laugh out of that.  Being the good sport, and fun kind of lady she was, she even put that teeny tiny bikini on to pose for me!  Oh how we laughed.
Nana had a wonderful sense of humor.  But she was also very matter of fact and sensible.  I recall one time, after losing some weight, she and I were in a changing room together as I tried on some new clothes.  I was gushing over the new me, and Nana said, "Kristy, you's never gonna be skinny.  You take after the other side."  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but whenever I am feeling fluffy, I remember her wise words.  She also brought me back to earth on a weekend trip to Catalina that my family had taken.  Greg and I always dreamed of living somewhere rural and slower paced.  I told her how much I thought I might like to live there.  She said, "Nah...the dust would still settle, and the laundry would still need doin', no matter where  you live!"
When Nana lived in her condo, I would come out to help her clean and then we would go to lunch and sometimes to Target.  Nana loved Polly's Pie's back burner soup for lunch, and if we had breakfast it was usually at The Original Pancake House, where we always split our favorite, the apple pancake, or pannycake, as we called them.
Nana was always game for some fun. Once after doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen following a family meal at my parents, I suggested to Nana that she sit in the giant stainless steel salad bowl so that I could pull her by her legs on a fast ride on the living room carpet.  Oh YES she did!!!  And she loved it!!  We were all in tears we laughed so hard.
Nana was born and raised in Texas.  She was firecly proud of her roots.  Even though she lived most of her life in California, she never lost that sweet Southern accent.  We always talked about making a "Nana Dictionary."  There were certain words that she pronounced as only Nana could do.  For instance, she didn't much care for "Dawgs."  Especially if they were jumping on her.  Then she would need to take a "shour", because she was feeling "trayshy."  She always fried her Salmon Patties in "ol" and liked to wash them down with a cold Corona.
Whenever I would tell Nana that I was going anywhere that might involve water, she would say, "Don't forget to hang yer clothes on a hickory limb now."   I loved to share Nana's playful personality with my friends.  Through me, they all knew Nana.  Whether it was her delicious Nana's Chicken or her famous sayings.  Everyone loved Nana.
Nana never complained.  Not ever.  And she never lost her sense of humor.  A couple of days before she passed, Mom and I were with her, and upon leaving, Nana told me, "Don't forget me."
With tears in my eyes, I walked to the foot of her bed while my Mom said goodnight.  As we left, Mom kind of gave her top sheet a little billowing snap to cover up her bare legs.  As we left, we could hear her say something, but didn't quite catch it.  We went back to her side and Mom bent down to her and said, "what did you say Mom?"  Then she repeated it, with a crooked grin, and a twinkle in her eye.  "Shame on you for peeking up my dress!"
We walked out that night with heavy hearts, and tears in our eyes.  But we were laughing too.  We talked all the way home about how remarkable she is!
Whenever we saw Nana she always said goodbye in the same way.  Tootle-Loo.....Be Sweet.
Nana, I will love you, and miss forever.  Until we meet again..........Tootle-Loo.  Be sweet.

40 comments:

Poppy said...

Hi Kris,

What a beautiful and personal tribute to your sweet Nana. I so enjoyed reading about her charming character and all the wonderful things that made her special, like her southern accent and the very humorous things she said with it!;) You are lucky to have had the relationship you did, for grandmothers are so unique in our lives. We have lovely saying in Greek, 'Grandmothers are twice our mothers', and I can see how Nana was that, and so much more to you

Take care,

xo
Poppy

Denise Briese said...

Kris..What a touching tribute to your Nana. Hugs

Prairie Patch Quilts said...

So beautiful. Our sympathy to you and your family. Your Nana was a blessing to you all; and you have all the memories to carry you through.

Patty Antle said...

What a loving tribute to your Nana. I know you miss her very much. You have many great memories of her. Thanks for sharing, Kris.

From the Kitchen said...

Kris: I have tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I think Nana would approve.

Best,
Bonnie

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh I am tearing up. Your Nana was so loved. What a blessing to a family.

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Oh Kris, That was the sweetest story! I have tears in my eyes and a heavy heart for your loss and mine. Just love the stories and especially the end. (covering her legs) She was an amazing lady, I would have loved her too. Keep your memories and smile!
xoRobin

Karen L. Bates said...

Oh, my you brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful eulogy to what had to be a super special fun loving woman! I would have loved to meet her. Hugs, Tootle-Loo. Be sweet.

Deb~in~Denver said...

Kris, what a beautiful, love filled tribute to your Nana. It made me laugh and made me cry. Those of us who were lucky enough to grow up with a grandma, were lucky enough. It's amazing that your grandchildren were blessed to get to know their Great-Great Grandma.

Sending lots of love,
Deb

Holly said...

My heart just aches for you. What a beautiful tribute for your Nana. No idea how you made it through that speech, I'm crying now and I never met her in person. I'm so thankful that you introduced us all to her through your blog. Love you.

Debbie said...

Oh Kris, I am tearing up over here. What a sweet, sassy, adventuresome, and fun woman she really was! The Lord truly blessed you all with her so much. And now you have a whole life time of memories to linger over in your heart whenever you want. She filled all of your lives with so much laughter and love. I laughed aloud at some of her last words to her daughter and granddaughter, haha. She will be missed for sure, but she left you with so much. Hugs to you!

Valerie Smith said...

Absolutely perfect.

Hugs,

Valerie

Sarah said...

Loved reading this. It was beautiful and really showed who she was. Hugs!

Pam said...

Excuse me while I wipe my eyes...

You are so very lucky to have had such a wonderful Nana. She sounds like she was one heck of a lady!!!

Beautiful words written for a very special woman.

xxoo

Mereknits said...

Kris, you did a fantastic job letting us all know about the real woman behind Nana. She sounds like a fascinating person and a real love. You have been blessed to have had her in your life and you will pass down her wisdom and spunk to your own Grandkids.
Well done my friend,
Meredith

Genn said...

Oh. Even though I've heard this twice now, I still cried reading it again. So beautifully says. Truly. And I can just her Nana saying all those things in her Southerb drawl.

Genn said...

Said .... Not says. Oops. I'm on my phone ;)

NanaNor's said...

Kris, Such sweet memories; you were so blessed to have her in your life! Words can't ease your pain but sending big hugs today.
xxxoooo
Noreen

Betsy said...

Kris:
Words fail me. Through this tribute to your Nana I can see the love you had for her, and she had for you and the rest of her family. Tears are running down my cheeks because, oh yes, I want to be "just like your Nana" to my family.
She sounds like a very wise woman and full of love and laughter.
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing with us and making us all stop and think about what is really important in life. And that is L-O-V-E for your family and friends.
May God pour out His love and blessings on you and your family.
Betsy

priscilla said...

Kris,
It was so nice to read your words about your beloved Nana .. you were so lucky to have so much time with her . Thanks for sharing with us .. hope you are doing ok ..

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Beautiful words for a beautiful woman from a loving grand-daughter. Nothing more can be said .... {{{hugs}}}

Grayseasailor said...

Thanks for sharing your relationship with Nanna with us, Kris. I am blessed to know her through you :)
Love with hugs,
Gracie xx

Susanne said...

Kris, I loved reading your tribute to your Nana. And what you wrote about her shows what a legacy she has left for all of you. She sounds like quite the character, likeable, loveable and unforgettable. How remarkable that she lived to still be sharp as a tack in her old age and still having a sense of humor right up to the end. Is that not what all of us would want to be when we get towards the end of our lives, to be someone so loved that we are never forgotten. I recall my husband saying, "Everyone cares right now, but after awhile they will all forget about me." Nothing was further from the truth. It saddened me to think that he might believe that. I told him after 40 some years together how could I forget him, besides we have 2 daughters and a grandson, part of him lives on. Not a day goes by that I don't tear up at my loss, and reading what your grandma said to you and your mom just shows me how strongly we all want to be remembered when we are gone. My friend Julia posted a little saying on her blog, "Sometimes what appears dead is simply preparing for a new season". It had a drawing of a tree and I know it was referring to it being dormant in Winter and would awaken in Spring. I believe that our loved ones have already bloomed in their new Spring in such a beautiful place that only we can imagine how it takes their breath away. They are waiting for us, and while we are here on this earth we will always remember them. Hug your mom, I'm sure this is extremely hard on her.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Teresa Kasner said...

Dear Kris,

What an amazing and wonderful person Nana was! To be so fun and positive is a great trait for a grandma! It's so nice that she had such a nice long life to spend with her loved ones. You are lucky to have had all of you in her life. I'm here if you need me. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Lindz said...

Wow.....what a sweet sweet funny lady she sounds like...what fun memories you have of her!! She sounds like the type of person that everyone needs to know! :)

podso said...

Kris this is a beautiful tribute to your grandmother! I know you miss her so much but you have happy memories to help. It's nice to hear from someone else who is sentimental!

Home Meadows said...

What a wonderful tribute to a special person in your life. Blessing to you. Heather

Jann Olson said...

Kris, reading this brought a tear to my eye and I didn't even know Nana. I can just see her in that string bikini and sliding in the salad bowl. What an amazing woman! You gave her such a sweet tribute. I know that it was an emotional day. I was chosen by my siblings to speak at both my mom and dads funerals. It was hard, but such an honor!
hugs,
Jann

Petunia Pill said...

Dearest Kris, So many beautiful words to convey your heart full of memories and love. Like the others who commented before me, you've brought tears to my eyes too...you are truly blessed to have had this woman touch your life and the lives of those you love as she did! Her legacy is love...and that lives on forever. And I will never fluff my sheets again without thinking of your story! That's priceless. Hugs, Annette

DaCraftyLady Debb said...

so sorry to hear as I have been absent from "blogland" over the last 6-9 months, but I wanted to send my thoughts your way. This post was very special and a lovely tribute to Nana.... :) ~~ Debb

Astri said...

Beautiful and touching. You are good lady Kris!

corners of my life said...

Quite a tribute.
Bittersweet . . .

Jill said...

What a lovely tribute to a wonderful lady. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family during this difficult time. Hugs!

Blessings,
Jill

Nicolle said...

Kris, bless your heart. I just loved this so much. I know it has been sad for your family, but I am also thankful that the Lord gave you all so many sweet and funny times with Nana. I laughed and cried while reading over this. She had a life well lived, and she will always be remembered fondly! xo

Val said...

This was such a touching post!! Tears down my cheeks. <3

Tania @ Out Back said...

I am all teary after reading about your very much loved Nana. I also smiled because it sounds as though she enjoyed her life to the fullest. It is definitely too short to complain. I would have loved to have met her :)

You are a lucky family to have such a special lady in your life.

Love to all,

xx

Melissa C said...

Oh golly, that was a tear full!

That was special, as was she.

Blessings to you Kris.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Kris, this is such a loving tribute to your Nana. She sounds like the most fun loving, down-to-earth woman. Thank you for sharing her with us. I know she will be so missed by all who ever knew her, especially her family...XO

Sinta Renee said...

Aren't you so blessed to have had such wonderful people in your life Kris. I am in tears... but a little smile is there from reading your story especially those last words. Precious!

Taciana Simmons said...

Wow my dear friend Kris... That is a wonderful , wonderful tribute to your Nana. By your words I feel like I knew her a little bit. I'm so happy that you had such a blessing to have her with you for so long... I'm sure she will be with you forever as does your dad to this day.
Thanks you so much for stoping by to visit me today and for your kind words. I have been so, so very tired with the move I haven't been ale to make comments or read much... I am starting to feel a bit better now and hope my life starts feeling a bit more normal.
My deepest sympathy about your Nana and may the memories you have of her keep her alive and in your heart for eternity.
My love.