Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I grabbed a hanger to hang up a shirt, as I was putting away my laundry Sunday afternoon, not thinking anything about it at first.  Then I stopped, realizing it was a hanger that Nannie had crocheted for me many years ago.  I sighed, remembering Mom telling me about Nannie seeing one of those crocheted hangers just a few years ago and her ooohing and ahhhing about how pretty it was and asking who made it.  Mom had to tell her that she made those for us, and Nannie said, "I did?" 

She hasn't remembered much for a while now.  Nannie has suffered from Alzheimer's (dementia) for several years now and has been in a Nursing Home.  Her short term memory was the first thing to go.  She'd remember you as you were 5-10 years ago instead of current and you might have to remind her who you are.  I remember visiting her on one of her good days once. After a while she squinted her eyes, took a long look at me, and said, "I don't remember your hair being so dark, Jill!"  I chuckled a good bit, because my hair was about 50-75% gray until I started coloring it about 3 years ago.  We had a good laugh about that and then she tried to sing along with her favorite CD again, old Gospel hymns like "Keep Me Safe, Til the Storm Passes By" and "Beulah Land."  Her frail body and clouded mind strained to find the words so familiar to her.  Her spirit wanted to belt out those songs so much, she managed to hum the tune as she rocked back and forth, her heart crying out the words written on it, hidden by the clouds of dementia.

I know she is singing with The Choir today, right next to Grandaddy, who went on before her 21 years ago.  She's singing all her favorites, and as Mom said Sunday when she called to tell me the news, Nannie remembers all the words now.  She's re-telling all those dreadful, embarrassing childhood stories about me to the Angels and Prophets now, just like she did every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas or other family gatherings.  It's always the same ones, "Just My Size!" "I Brought My Bucket!" "La-La-La-Wucky" and the "Tuesday Roller/Smell-fume" one...yes, my eyes rolled back in my head every time the words "Remember when Jill..."

Today, I won't be rolling my eyes.  Today, I will remember fondly and laugh with you, Nannie.  I will hold the hands and shoulders and backs of my family as we celebrate your Homegoing service.  We will cry because we miss you.  We will rejoice because now you are whole, you are healed, you are home; and we are a little bit jealous...

2 Corinthians 5:6-9
"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord--for we walk by faith, not by sight--we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him."


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