I’ve been debating all week how I wanted to go about writing this post. I didn’t post anything here, but I mentioned on my Social Media sites about 2 weeks ago that I would be taking a short hiatus from writing. My reasoning? The day I posted that our family, my in-laws to be exact, were preparing to say goodbye to this incredible woman. My children lovingly called her Big Nanny, though in fact, there was nothing big about her… that is, unless you consider the enormity of love and grace this woman possessed.
Big Nanny loved with everything she had and everything she was. It didn’t matter how tired or ill she felt, the moment one of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren walked into her home… she was welcoming, loving and only concerned about their well-being. She got down in the floor to play with my children, she’d hop up and immediately start throwing some kind of meal together if you were hungry, and when my daughter would grab her hand and say, “Big Nanny! Let’s go outside to pick flowers!”, she wouldn’t hesitate to throw her shoes on and head out the door. This woman emanated love.
I will never forget the first time my husband took me to Big Nanny’s house, he was SO excited to introduce me to his Nanny. At that point, it was pretty early on in our relationship, so in the beginning I knew her as Willann. She made us breakfast, asked about my family (because of COURSE she knew my family) and as we were getting ready to leave she gave me the warmest hug and told me how glad she was to have met me. Since then I have learned so much from her, but most importantly I learned the importance of unconditional love.
I am so thankful for the years I was blessed to have known her, and I’m beyond grateful for the years that Boogie and Bubby got to spend with her. They were short yes, but the joy I saw in the moments my children spent with her… those are memories no one could replace. My sweet girl adored her Big Nanny, I’m pretty positive that she was her FAVORITE person. They spent their moments dancing, hopping on stepping stones, picking and looking at Nanny’s beautiful flowers (she had a green thumb… you wouldn’t believe the beautiful blooms in her yard), having tea parties and tickle fests. She was the epitome of the perfect grandmother.
My Bubby didn’t get as many years with Big Nanny, but you better believe he knew exactly what we were doing when we pulled up into her driveway to visit. The above picture is my absolute favorite… I think that picture shows more love than any of the other pictures we have combined. This woman LIVED for her family. I’m so sad that she’s gone, but I am at peace knowing that she had such a strong faith and relationship with God. I can imagine that the home Jesus prepared for her is just like the one she had here… full of beautiful plants, an enormous woodstove, and photographs of her family. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bird won’t have the opportunity to know her like the rest of us did, but I imagine she’ll know and love Big Nanny through the stories and photographs that we all will share with her. I know without a doubt that if she could have stayed here a little longer, she would have adored our sweet Bird.
Boogie was her very first great-grandbaby and Bird would have been her last (at least for now!)… and my babies are only 3 of the 7 great-grandchildren she had. 7 great-grandchildren, 7 grandchildren, 4 children… and an amazing legacy. She was full of life, laughter and love and she will be forever missed.
In memory of Willann “Big Nanny”
September 10, 1942- October 7, 2014