This one is a bitter sweet moment of appreciation. It’s another one that would be in the top 5 things that I am thankful for. Nana died in 1999 and 13 years later we all still miss her. Heaps. At my 30th I spoke briefly about my Nana and my family were all in tears. At her funeral at St Johns in Sorrento, the Church was overflowing with people to be there to say goodbye. What makes a woman so special that over decade later people still talk about her and miss her as if she were just taken yesterday? I often ask myself this question.
There are so many things that I am grateful to my Nana for. For a warm and loving home away from home. I spent many weekends with her, toddling off to Church on Sundays. Nana had a down to earth practical nature. Nana was a no nonsense woman who taught us many practical and common sense things around the house but also in life. Yet she also had a keen sense of humour.
I am thankful for her sharp wit and intelligence. Her cottage was filled with books, puzzles and activities for her grand children. She encouraged us to read and learn. Many of my early memories are of sitting in her lounge doing craft, reading, playing cards with her and a cousin, putting together puzzles and knitting. Each of us had our own box of treasures filled with our “stuff” to do craft, read or puzzles. She’d adjust them as we grew and developed.
I am thankful for her love of God and service to His Church. I would go to Church with her most weekends. She was dedicated to her Church community and we would often go early because she had to drop off the linen she’d starched during the week or some other task. I remember dinners, craft nights and other gatherings. I love lamingtons because once I went with Nana to make lamingtons with the Church ladies for a cake stall. It was a messy, sticky process but fun with the ladies, chatting and laughing. It was in this tight knit community that she, as a widow, was cared for and supported. I am grateful for her prayers that she would have prayed for all of her kids and for her grandkids.
I am thankful for the inheritance that I have from this woman – a heart for people, a heart of service, a heart for God, a heart for family, creativity and intelligence, the knitting bug, common sense (which I have learnt isn’t so common!) and many other things. She is no longer with us, but she has left a legacy of children and grandchildren that carry within them her heart.
Mostly I am grateful for Nana showing us, her children and grand children, what love really is. She loved each of us 12 grandchildren individually for the unique little people we were. She also had two foster children who grew to think of her as their Mum. Our Nana loved us unconditionally. I believe it is this above all else that made Nana a woman that we miss today. That she loved us with His love.