Saying Goodbye To Nanny
Not too long ago as many who read my articles know I made a claymation cartoon as a tribute to Nanny (my grandmother) as she crested her 95th year. I wanted to show her how much we cared about her as she had not long before moved into an old age home, unable to continue caring for herself. I attempted to finish by Christmas and unfortunately with the amount of work I have these days was unable to do so.
I did get to visit her however and we had some time to talk. If I'd known it was the last time I would see her alive I would have stayed longer. I finished the claymation in January and was going to wait until we nest saw her to show it to her. But her health began to fail and last week my mother informed me she had passed away.
I will always regret the fact that she didn't see what we made for her but I know she knew we loved her very much. I returned to my home town this past weekend and stayed at my brothers home. All of my brothers had come home and we reminisced about our time with Nanny. She had always been there for us, a second mother who looked after us throughout our life.
For me there were several different stages of life that Nanny was there for. When I was a small child I remember traveling from our nearby home town to Nannies every couple days to visit, get groceries in town, etc. At the time my grandfather was still alive and we would stay throughout the day. Sometimes we would stay over and I would lay in bed with "Papa" as we called our grandfather and he would tell me stories off the top of his head.
Later as a big kid we lived above Nannies home and I would see her every day and would come down in the evening to watch Star Trek and other shows and do my homework on her living room floor. When we moved to our family home in the country we still went to Nannies often. She would make my brothers and I lunch and living only a couple houses from the school we would be there for lunch everyday. When in high school my next oldest brother and I would come into town to see friends and often stay at Nannies or stop in.
As an adult in my late teens I entered the stage of my life that I truly needed Nanny for. I was very lost and didn't know which direction I was going in my life and what I wanted to do. I had a job, but that too didn't help as I worked under horrible conditions in excess of 16 hours a day and under threat of being fired if I rocked the boat. I didn't believe I could walk away. So I took the abuse for four long years. Throughout that time I often stayed at Nannies to be closer to work.
She made me lunch and supper. She would give me medicine when it made me ill or epsom salts for infections I sometimes sustained to my hands. She would would have a bed waiting for me in the night and most importantly she had a sympathetic ear available and would talk me through my troubles without even knowing it. It was in this period where Nanny again not realizing it helped put me on the right path. Without her support during this period I don't know where I would be at this point.
Eventually I had to leave the horrible job I had due to arm problems but I think had I stayed if things remained the same I would have sooner or later left of my own accord. But Nanny had helped me build back my self esteem and understand my own self worth and for that I will always be grateful.
Before Nanny left this earth she pointed out a small red lantern that belonged to my father as a child or teen. She wanted me to have it upon her death and as my father has also passed in an untimely accident several years ago I knew I would keep it as a keepsake in remembrance of him. But the lantern now holds a dual meaning and will remind me of Nanny as well. It has now become the lantern that lights my way to the future but at the same time helps me never forget who is important in my life.
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