My Nanny is dying. I call my mother's mother "Nanny". I was twelve before I knew that a full time, paid childcare employee was called the same thing.
My oldest daughter is named after her. Margaret Sarah. Nanny's name is Sarah Lou. She had red hair most of my life and was the most competent woman who ever lived.
My grandfather made a habit of starting businesses, getting them stable, then moving on to the next thing. Nanny would run them and do the books until they sold the business. In this manner my grandfather made plenty of money, but he couldn't have done it without Nanny.
At one point when I was a kid, Nanny had my sister and I for the summer, took care of her elderly mother, taught Sunday School, grew a garden and ran a used car lot, a gas station and an electrical supply company. She graduated from Samford when I was ten.
When they decided to plant a church, before it was fashionable, Nanny kept the nursery every Sunday for years. Paw Paw would preach the sermon to her on the way.
Nanny always had a kiss for us, even if they were the wettest kisses on the planet. She always licked her lips first. She always kissed Paw paw the most though. She adored him until the Alzheimers stole him from her. They did everything together. Their rv saw almost every state in the continental United States. I can still picture her scratching his head and kissing his cheek. Or making him a sandwich that was half wrapped in a paper towel.
Nanny taught me how to be a wife. Never did a husband have a better, more dedicated help mate. He valued her opinion and sought it out. He recognized that his ministry to the poor was possible because of the dedication and servant's heart of his bride. He knew how to tease her to laughter when she took things too seriously.
I remember a million things about her. The way she would wash my feet before I went to sleep on clean sheets. The way she would keep calling my name until I remembered to say, "ma'am?" The crunch of her homemade pickles and the gag factor of her sweet n low tea. The funny noise her nose made when she sniffed and the sound of her voice singing while she worked. The smile on her face when she saw me. Her favorite flowers planted in the front garden.
I will miss my Nanny. I'm sad that my children never experienced her the way I did. But I know that she's ready. She is ready for heaven and to see her Savior. She's ready to see her husband and her daughter and her parents. She's ready, but I am not.
I will miss her terribly.