4.04.2006

~A Tribute To A Great Lady~

I received a call this morning from my daddy with some sad news - my great grandmother, Nanny, passed away early this morning.

Her passing was not a surprise. She was 98 years old and had been struggling with dementia and various other health issues for a long time.

So, we aren't grieving in the way that a family would grieve a sudden, unexpected death. Rather, we are experiencing a joyous grief - if that is possible. While we are sad that she is gone, we are happy that her spirit has gone on to heaven - where her mental and physical infirmities will no longer exist.

My Nanny was a wonderful lady. As a little girl, I ADORED her. Sometimes, I felt closer to her than I did to her daughter, my grandmother. She went out of her way to make me feel special when I was little, and as we both got older, I recognized that she possessed a lot of characteristics I hoped to have one day.

First, Nanny always looked perfect - her nails, her hair, her clothes. I never saw her in an outfit that wasn't completely lovely, fashionable, and appropriate. She taught me the importance of accessorizing and showed me that a well-made suit and good skincare can take years off of a woman.

She exuded internal beauty, as well. Nanny had a way of making people she was talking to feel that their presence alone made her day. She would welcome anyone into her home - happily attending to any need - whether someone needed a friend, a meal, or just a little time away from the rest of the world.

She was also a very devout Christian and wasn't afraid to stand up for her faith. When she and my great grandfather, Big Daddy, first met, they were (as she liked to describe herself) "card-playing heathens." In fact, before she and Big Daddy "found the Lord" they were building a house, including one room in the blueprints just for gambling. Once they became Christians, they scrapped the plans for that room and instead focused all their energies on learning the Bible and later, serving as the preachers at their church. That's right - she was a preacher - a very uncommon role for a lady of her time, but not too surprising for a lady like Nanny.

I will always treasure my memory of her gorgeous home. She and Big Daddy collected some really beautiful antiques, and as a small girl, I remember walking through her home marveling at all of the precious things - lovely dancing porcelain dolls, an ivory Asian screen with intricate carvings, an incredible "Player" piano which played pieces of music by "reading" sheets of paper with holes punched out. Everything was always beautifully arranged and clean - displayed in a way to bring anyone in the room pleasure and comfort.

The more that I think about it - Nanny kept her house like she lived her life...Beautiful and clean. Everything she did - crafting a sermon, dressing for the day, decorating her home, cooking a meal - she tried to do as perfectly as possible. She sought to live a sinless and clean life, always trying to make her actions pleasing to God, and always trying to introduce others to Him.

As I sit and think about all of the good that my Nanny did, I am honored to know that I am a part of her legacy. I hope that I have inherited her strong and proactive spirit. I hope that when I am convicted about something, I will not hesitate to stand up for what I believe in - even if it isn't socially acceptable. I also hope that I can be half the hostess she was, and...well to look as good as she did, despite her age.

So, here's to my Nanny, the lovely Mrs. Ruby Nathine Roberts -
While we are all sad that such an angel like you died, we are all so thankful that you lived.

1 comment:

laura said...

Wow. You were right, totally not that big a deal. Who knew men had such apron fantasies? I guess it combines the whole 'way to a man's heart is his stomach' w/ you know, the other way. Apparently, you do know!

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