Nan

What I remember most is your "Hi Dollies," the way you'd stand at the top of the stairs when I would stop by for a visit. Your face always lit up to see me; my heart would grow four sizes bigger when I would see you. Sometimes you would have a pie in the oven. Or something ready for me to eat. The house was always impeccably clean. As if you knew I was coming over. You always knew. You were smart like that. I remember when I was younger. And sleepovers at your house were the highlight of my week. I loved playing princesses in your gowns with Rachel. I always got the pink gown. She had the purple. We'd run around the house hoping you'd forget our fast approaching bed times. We felt so elegant and regal, yet we were so young and innocent. If you could see us now.

I remember when you first got sick too. You were so stubborn you you refused to go to the doctor. We begged and begged and you said you were fine. But we all knew. When you first lost your hair, the cancer society gave you some wigs to wear. And you placed them so nicely in the closest because there was no way you weren't going to rock some gorgeous scarf around your new fuzzy short do'. You didn't need any wig. You were perfect the way you were. I remember you couldn't make it to my last college meet you were so ill. That day I landed a perfect 10 on vault. And I knew you were watching over me. I pictured your face lighting up when Grandpa called to tell you the news. My heart grew four sizes bigger just picturing your reaction. For 20 years you were my biggest cheerleader, saving every result book, picture and newspaper clipping. You made me feel like a winner in even the worst of times.

You were so brave, Nan. Braver than I could ever be. Even at the McNally house. When you wasted away to skin and bones, with just a few stray hairs on your head, you still had time to smile. You smiled while you napped. You smiled when anyone came to visit, even though you were so sick. You smiled when we opened your room door to let the May birds songs drift in. You smiled the biggest three days before you left for Heaven, when Grandpa took you for a drive to McDonalds for an ice cream. How you had the strength to go amazes me. But then again you amazed me all the time.

When I think of you now, I get a funny pain in my palm. This tingly feeling that signals the onset of tears. And the tears make me realize how now that you're gone, I've lost my best friend. Sometimes I pick up the phone to call you, to hear your voice. But you won't pick up. Unless I call to the big house upstairs. I know you'll answer me then. And then we could talk. I could tell you about the wedding progress Andy and I have made, and how I am very much enjoying my internship at the magazine. You could tell me about your walks downtown and your garden. You'd maybe talk about how Rachel is doing, or the damn birds outside your kitchen window. And it would be like old times, just you and I.

You used to always whip out a tube of lipstick when we were together. "Put a little colour on your lips," you'd say. And if I was lucky you'd dab some on my cheeks as blush. You weren't a fancy lady. A no fuss kind of gal. But you loved your lip colour. And you were so beautiful. Thanks Nan for watching over me everyday for the past two years. For reminding me that the simple things in life make the journey worth it. For teaching me about grace, forgiveness, selflessness, and charm. And for always loving me for who I am. It's not good bye, it's until we meet again. I love you.

29 Lovely Comments:

Katy ~ said...

I am all choked up and my eyes are filled with the threat of tears. Your Nan sounds like an angel on this earth; she reminds me of my own sainted grandmother. To know love, was to be loved by her.

Lavender and Lilies said...

How sweet.

LouBoo said...

Hi - ohhhh you made me cry...and smile...as I think if anyone has been lucky enough to know someone like your Nan then a flicker of recognition is there when reading your post. I am sure she is still there with you - and will be on your wedding day...
Louise x

Simone said...

Oh Rhiannon, I have tears running down my face, this was beautiful and so moving, bless your heart.

I had two very special grandmas who I was very close too....and my daughter had one too.....they are truly a gift. I miss them all every day but I comfort myself by thinking how fortunate I was to even have them in my life....not everyone is that lucky.

I have no doubt that your Nan would be bursting with pride at the beautiful, talented and compassionate young lady that you are today - and I am sure that her love is a good part of why you are that way....loving grandmas make very special little girls.

Hugs to you honey xo

Jennifer Rose said...

this is such a sweet and touching post

Sweet Southern Prep said...

Wow, what a sweet post. Hopefully you'll be able to pass that love on too. :)

Becca said...

Aw, this is soo sweet.

Brianna! said...

This just melted my heart!

xoxo
bB

p.s. My Mr. calls me nan!

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness... so so so sweet! So moving and lovely! You have such a beautiful heart!!! XO

I'm Lindsay! said...

I know exactly what you mean. I miss my Maga too.

Melanie said...

Very sweet. Definitely choked me up <3

Melanie@Unravelled Threads

Milica said...

You are such a beautiful young woman and I see so much of my mom's goodness and loving characteristics in you!!! I love you Rhiannon, and did I mention I am so blessed to have you as my daughter? Thanks for all you are. You are such a source of pride and joy to your dad and myself.Your nan loved you more than I can put into words.

Ashley said...

I bet Nan subscribes to your RSS feed in Heaven. The internet connection there is probably remarkable! She IS so proud of you Rhi, she's your guardian angel - looking over you daily.

Carry her spirit with you always!

Meg said...

Aww, Rhi, thinking of you! Definitely choked me up.. love you, deary

xx

Sarah loves it all said...

Oh so beautiful. That so reminds me of my relationship with my grandpa and how I feel now that he's gone. I love your sweetness.

Wendy said...

Beautiful Post Rhiannon! She sounds AMAZING! Blessings to you today!

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

You are the sweetest thing! I'm sure your grandma just adored the heck out of you. I didn't know you were a former gymnast?!!

I totally want to be the grandma someday that has the fragrant pie in the oven... and a clean house! :)

I love this picture too.

junghwa by amy stewart said...

Aww... what a lovely post. Very sweet and genuine. Heart.

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Liz said...

this is such a sweet and loving post Rhiannon. i am trying hard not to tear up. God bless your heart soul, you are truly a beautiful soul. it makes so proud and hapy to have encounter you in the blogosphere.

i am positive your loving and beautiful Nan is watching and smiling her pretty lipstick smile at you all the time.

{{{hugs}}}

sara said...

Rhiannon, I'm tearing up reading your beautiful, wonderful tribute to your dear, sweet Nan. She sounds like an absolutely incredible woman. I know you must miss her with all your heart, but it appears that you have lots of wonderful memories of your Nan to last a lifetime. I'm sure she is watching over you with great joy, pride and love.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Awww...this is truly one of the most beautiful tribute posts I have ever read. :)

10x desserts said...

This was so beautifully written. I cried. Really cried and I don't do that often. Your touching post reminded me of my own grandma and how I still have her phone number programmed on my phone even though I can't speak with her anymore. Your Nan would be so proud of you and your accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you write well. She sounds amazing, and you are so lucky to have someone like that so close to you!

Liz @ LivingMySweetLife said...

what a beautiful post.
your writing is spectacular and I always enjoy looking at your blog.

I saw this today while blog-hoping and immediately thought of your blog, cuteness overload:
http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/46866608.html

Trish said...

Hi baby girl, oh I am just so very very sorry for your dear loss. Nan sounds like an absolutely beautiful person inside and out, much like yourself. You will no doubt carry on her loving ways. I loved reading your mother's comment, as if I wasn't already in tears, her comment made me cry happy tears, to know how much you are loved. I love you sweet friend, so much, and am here for you today, tomorrow and always. Lots of love darling xox

Caroline said...

This post was incredibly beautiful! xo

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

what a beautiful tribute to your nan! it sounds like she was a beautiful woman!

Milica said...

24 years ago, on a washed out long weekend I was the only 20 something year old who did not go camping for the holiday weekend. After all , I was about to give birth to my first child.As the thunder rolled and the sky grew darker, I felt water run down my leg... "Oh no" , I thought, now what? I decided it was time to go to sleep. After all, when things get scary bed always seemed like a safe refuge! My pains worsened and the realization that bed was not going to take away my stomach ache settled in like a scary hospital visit. It was time to make one, speaking of hospital visits. Arriving in a horrible storm at McMaster Hospital and feeling anything but excited, my journey into the reality of active labour was well on it's way.Wondering how much worse the pain would get and how many more hours would pass on the clock wall made the whole experience seem to go on for infinity...12 hours later I heard, "it's a girl" She has all her toes and fingers , she weighs 6lbs7ounces, and has a beautiful head of hair!!No long weekend storm could take away the sunshine I felt.Here at last was my own little bundle of happiness. Somebody who needed me and I needed just as much.Days turn into months, months to years. Always a happy baby, rarely a cranky toddler, never a miserable kid.Teenage hood ran smoothly. You always tried to please. You always did your best.What ever you pursued, you gave it your all. From academics, to gymnastics, you finished what you started and even broke school records and achieved honour roll standings.Now school is over, gymnastics is a thing of the past and you are soon to be a bride.... wow, where did time go?They say life goes quickly when life is good. It feels like being your mom has been but a minute.You have brought our family such joy, pride,excitement, and friendship.I know this much is true, after every storm there is a rainbow. You are mine. Happy 24th birthday cat! with love from mom and dad.xoxo

Kristin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss R. I know that your Nan is looking down on you smiling with pride!