Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nanny and Papa

On July 2, 2009 my Papa passed away. On July 6, 2010 my Nanny left us too. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I didn't just lose my grandparents. I also lost a part of my childhood. There are so many smells and memories associated with their house that I never want to forget. I will always remember playing Nintendo with my Nanny for hours. Every time we visited we would stuff ourselves on those little mini powdered doughnuts. These are the memories I will cling to.

When JJ and I went to their house to stay the night before the funeral, I made sure to take as many pictures as I could. I did not want these memories to fade as they often do. I couldn't stand for those memories to get blurred around the edges so I tried to capture everything I possible could.

Whenever we would pull up to the house, my Nanny and Papa would be waiting on the front porch for us.

We would walk up to the porch and sit and talk for while. There are so many memories of us hanging out on the porch just talking for hours.

If you look out from the front porch you could see the fields surrounding the house. A lot of times, there would be corn in the field right next to the house. You would also see the fake deer on the front lawn. For some reason, these deer absolutely fascinated me when I was a little girl. I always had this urge to hop on them and go for a ride.

Another place we loved to sit was on the back porch swing. I loved having long talks with my Nanny on that swing. Nothing can make you feel as good as the love of a grandparent. Nothing.

Walking through the house, it is pretty clear what time period my Nanny and Papa treasured. Each room is filled to the brim with memories of laughter and togetherness.

The living room
The kitchen holds many, many memories of amazing meals. My Nanny used to make the most incredible spaghetti you had ever tasted. With homemade meatballs and sauce, it was like biting into heaven.

My Papa's favorite room had to have been his TV room. He would sit in his recliner and watch sports for hours. We would all gather in there and play games like Life and a basketball game called Basket.

Throughout the house are decorations and collectibles that for some reason or another, immediately bring me back to my childhood.

My grandfather was a veteran and had a couple of old guns that he was very proud of. One of them was on display in the TV room along with some other collectibles.

One of my Nanny's favorite things to do was paint using paint-by-number kits. She painted some beautiful paintings and even gave me a few of them. When JJ and I were at the house before the funeral I spotted a stack of kits that had not been opened yet. I also noticed there were a few articles of clothing in her laundry basket and I couldn't stop the tears from coming.

I kept picturing her walking through the store buying new kits and thinking about how much she would enjoy painting each one. I thought about her putting her laundry in basket knowing she would get to it later.

She had a difficult last few months. She had a surgery for an aneurysm in April and during the surgery they discovered she had a clot in her lungs. After the surgery she had a lot of trouble recovering. She had to be in the ICU for a long period of time. She was in pain and was scared. I hate knowing how much she struggled those last few months.

I also know how much she missed her husband. My grandparents were always together and living without him was terrible for my Nanny. I know, deep down, that they are now reunited. They are finally back together and they will always be with me. They were not famous or rich. Their stories are not on the news or in the tabloids. But they were amazing people. They were wonderful parents and grandparents. They took care of their friends and always tried to do what was right. And now they are free of pain and tears, together again.

I love and miss you Nanny and Papa!


Sarah said...

This post just made me cry. I am terrified of losing my Nani and Papa. I will hug them a little tighter when I see them next. I am sure your Nanny and Papa knew how much you loved them.

Becs said...

Thanks Sarah. I still have my mother's parents and I make sure to treasure every moment I have with them. Grandparents are the best!

Gilsner said...

Aw... what a beautiful, touching post. I can totally relate to this. It's funny how a place and it's smells and things can hold so many memories. It's funny, I keep an old plastic toy on my desk at work and every once and a while I pick it up and smell it. My co-workers know that it "smells like childhood".

I did the same thing too, went from room to room taking pictures. I never wanted to forget a single thing. From the shag carpet in the basement to the fake-grass carpet in the breezeway and the messiness of the laundry room where I would grab a stool to sneak a cookie from above the fridge. The sound of the 'nothingness' of the prairies as the crops blew in the wind and the crickets creaked. Every child should have memories like that and the fact you could talk to your nanny like that is such a special thing.

I'm so sorry you've lost such a big part of your life, your family and your heart. I think the very fact your Nanny passed away so closely to your papa is a sign of how much she loved him. It's sweet that she did that for him, that they're together again. I'm not sure if that's a comfort at all or if anything is, but now I'm thinking of you. Thanks so much for sharing such a big part of yourself in this post.


Becs said...

Thank you so much Kristel. It is a comfort to me! I love you!

Breathe Gently said...

Oh my gosh, this is such a beautiful post - you can really get a feeling of your nan and pop's gorgeous home. Pictures like this are SO important.

Big hugs to you, my friend! x