In a little town in south Texas, there is a little white house with brown shudders and trim. Within the little house there was always a warm cup of coffee and a place to sit. Peeking out through the front window, always mindful of the world sat Nanny. She would read, watch TV, sew, or chat on the phone, but always from her little recliner by the front window.
She has been a constant in the lives of many for the last 88 years. Several dozen spent in that house, looking out that window, the color of the recliner and the ages of the people being the only things that changed. Nanny loved people. She loved visitors. She loved to meet the new and visit with the old. Any morning of the year you would find her at home, waiting on visitors.
There is something about a pattern to life that is appealing to me. The same routine day in and day out. I found it fascinating to witness the monotony.
Nanny was up at 6:30 every morning. Coffee was on by 7. Biscuits and sausage on weekends was ready by 7:30. The friends and family that she loved so much would start popping in about that time too. The aunts came every day. Some of the uncles did too. Her grandkids all stopped in at least once a week and those that didn’t heard all about it the next. She sat in her chair, occasionally getting up to fill up her cup, and she talked to everyone that came by. She would have something for lunch ready about 11 am and it was always something hearty. Always enough to feed an army.
My son will tell you about the Honey Buns. She always had boxes of Honey Buns. She would dole them out to every grandchild and great-grandchild and great-great-grandchild. Watching their eyes light up when they tasted the yummy sweetness was ever satisfying to her. Then he would tell you about her toy cabinet and the giant legos. He has spent many a morning creating and playing and listening to the grown ups.
Wow could we talk. We talked about every thing. We talked about every one. We got filled in on who was getting married, who was getting divorced, who was having a baby or breaking up. I don’t consider it gossip if it’s all true and about family. I shared my hopes. I listened with rapt attention. I have a fondness for the older generation. There is so much to learn from them. So much history they played witness to, and I can’t help but want to hear anything they want to tell me. I loved listening to Nanny’s stories. I loved the story she wrote about her life.
She was a small town Texas girl, born a stones throw from where I grew up. She was married young and had her first child at 16. She went on to have 6 children total, 3 boys and 3 girls. She never drove a day in her life. She was a survivor. She was loving. She could teach us all a lesson in forgiveness and a few lessons on life. She was generous. She loved.
Above all Nanny loved. That was her gift. That is what made her so amazing. She loved unconditionally. She loved whether you deserved it or not. She loved through good times and bad. She loved through life and through death. It didn’t matter what was going on within her own body she still loved you and made that known in simple words and in wanting to stay involved.
There is something so simple in her love that is must surely be the lesson we are meant to learn from her. Keep your heart open, your front door unlocked, your smiles warm, your words caring and maybe, just maybe you will be a force in a life yet to be lived.
Even in death Nanny will live because she loved so many.