Yesterday, my Nana died.
I don't know how old she was, but she was old and her body had given out on her.
When I think about who she was, I can't help but to smile. She was a feisty old lady with a heart of gold. She was very opinionated and she liked to talk a lot (see...it is genetic!).
During football season, she'd get so worked up about Auburn football that on Saturday nights, she wouldn't be able to sleep at all.
Up until she was no longer able, every Wednesday she did a "tape" ministry with her church. I never had any idea what this was except that it had something to do with cassette tapes and visiting shut-ins. She never missed it.
She kept an immaculately clean house. No finger prints on the fridge and no vacuum marks in the carpet. She would take a broom and sweep the carpet after she vacuumed so there weren't any marks in the carpet. Once I asked her, "Nana, why would you do that? How is anybody supposed to know you vacuumed if you can't see the vacuum lines?" and she told me that she lived by herself and she didn't care if anybody knew that she had vacuumed.
She was known all over the community for her beautiful yard with the white picket fence. She had beautiful azalea bushes and incredible dogwood trees. We always took our Easter pictures at her house in her front yard and every year, she'd have my dad and my uncle go hide a huge garbage bag full of eggs so that the four of us grandkids could go hunt them.
She was also known as the wart lady. She had magical voodoo powers (well that's what I called it) that could remove warts. She would take a potato, cut it in half, rub the potato all over your warts, and then plant it in her garden. In a couple of weeks, the warts would be gone. My momma took half my cheerleading team over to her house once so she could work her magic on all my friends.
She was very strong in her faith and every day she read her Sunday School lesson out of a little book. She kept it right beside her monthly copy of Southern Living.
She collected tea pots and bird houses.
She also had a big, breakable rooster in her dining room. I asked her once why she had a big ol' chicken in her dining room and she told me it wasn't a chicken, it was a rooster, and she thought it was pretty.
She told stories of my Papa Louis and stories of when she worked at Flowers Bakery.
She wore sweat suits and white Keds during the winter, and seersucker pants outfits during the summer. To church, she always wore a suit, a beautiful necklace, and a butterfly broach. She has two display frames of them in her room. I was always fascinated by her butterflies. I wore one pinned inside my wedding gown as my something borrowed, although, I'm pretty sure I never gave it back.
She was stubborn and hard-headed. She was kind and she was loving.
She always had candy and enjoyed having visitors.
She loved her brothers and sisters and talked to them often.
She makes the best chicken-n-dressing you'll ever have.
She never missed an occasion to give a card to someone. When Ansleigh was a baby (a mere two months old) she sent her a Valentine's card with a $5 bill in it and told me to buy that baby some chocolate.
She forced me to learn how to make macaroni and cheese when I was fourteen or fifteen because I needed to learn to do something for myself (she was right, I did need to learn).
She was a wonderful grandmother. She helped take care of us when we were sick, called us, kept the family together, and remembered us, even when we were too busy to remember her.
I'm sure she is much like every other grandmother in the world, except to me, she is different. She's my Nana. I am so thankful that she is not suffering anymore, but I will miss her dearly. Life will not be the same without her, but we are all better people for having known her.