Thursday, May 16, 2013

Week 35

Typically, if it takes me this long to post a blog, you can assume either Liam is off from school and/or it has been a difficult one to write.  This week, in fact, perhaps the most difficult.  It is with a heavy heart that I report this last week was devoted to traveling back to New York for the funeral of Keegan’s One Hundred and Two Year Old Grandmother, “Nanny.”  I capitalized One Hundred and Two because, well, that’s obvious, right?!  {Only true Rockstars of Life live to be One Hundred and Two, duh}.  It was a moment I suppose we all knew was coming, a moment, no matter how many times we thought about it, or avoided thinking about it, we were never going to be ready to face, a moment we all knew would take our breath away.  For me, I knew it was going to be a moment I would need to be there for my husband in a way I never had before, in a way I didn’t even know how to be.  Hands down, he will tell you aside from his parents and brother, she was the most influential person in his life.  She lived across the street from him his entire childhood.  He would traipse off, literally over the river and through the woods, every Saturday to her house for a breakfast of cereal and cartoons.  When Keegan brought me home for the first time and introduced me to Nanny, he didn’t just stop there.  He proceeded to take me to her house for hour long visits every single day.  At first I thought I was the special occasion.  Then I realized, no, this is what Keegan does every time he comes home.  Nanny was the special occasion. He visits his Nanny.  He visits his Nanny every day.  He chats with her . . . no . . . he actually talks to her.  He makes her smile.   He draws her out.  He gets her to tell stories, show old photographs, share her diary, share memories.  Throughout our married life, up until a few years ago when they moved Nanny into a room without a telephone, Keegan called her . . . not every once in a while, not once a month, not even once a week.  He called her every day.  Every day people.  Truly, a special, one of a kind precious relationship.  How, I had asked myself a million times, would I ever get him through this moment?  And then suddenly, this moment was upon us.  Ready or not, and how is anyone every ready for this, there it was, this moment, taking our breath away.  

It was a bittersweet weekend.  It was a time to grieve the end of her time here with us, a time to grieve the inevitable and all too quick passage of time, a time to say goodbye.  But also, it was a time to be together with the family that knew this Rockstar of Life and knew what she meant to so many people, a time to celebrate her amazing life, her indelible success and leadership, and a time to marvel over the quality of people she has left behind and the invaluable lessons she has given to them.  It was my five year old, my wise beyond his years five year old, that said to me, “We don’t have to be sad, Mommy.  Her spirit is still here with us.”  I couldn’t have put it more simply and better myself.  We cry and we grieve because it is the end of something, but truly it is the beginning of so much more.  When I looked around the church at the faces of her handsome sons, their beautiful families, the fresh faces of her grandchildren and the huge innocent eyes of her great grandchildren, somewhere in all of those faces, I could see Nanny’s unparalleled determination, her bold courage, and her fiery passion masked only by a gentle smile.  Yes, Liam her spirit will indeed live on.  For years way beyond One Hundred and Two.

This is for you Nanny.  Just a small sampling of the people whose lives were made better by knowing you, who loved you dearly, and who will continue to honor your spirit in their own lives.
(Photo by Kurt Hofmann)

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