When I think about Nannie, and her 96 beautiful years of life, I’m not sure how to bring her brilliance and her passion for family to life in words. Nothing I will write will ever be able to sum up the life she has lived, the good she has done, nor the love she has spread, better than being witness to her everyday actions.
Over the past few days I have had time to contemplate the gravity of the situation and the loss that surrounds us, and like many, I find I’m feeling lost and unable to comprehend the idea of carrying forward in a life without her; a life without Nannie standing strongly beside me, encouraging me and loving me every step of the way.
When I find myself troubled over the thought of a life without her, I find comfort in her reunion with her beloved husband, Albert, my Poppa. I’m even moved to laughter at the idea that she will be even busier in heaven tending to the needs of her husband, or chasing after my busy two year old niece Ashlyn. I imagine her life will be filled with more love and long days with them, then any of her days here on earth. No matter where she goes, there are many waiting, wanting, and needing her love and guidance. I also find comfort in the memories and stories those 96 years of her life brought us. Her lessons, her strength and ultimately her love lives on in all of us, and every step I take down my path in life, I know she has lead me to that point. All the wisdom and courage she has instilled in me will continue to carry me throughout my journey and my life always.
Her life was one of pure joy, full of positivity, appreciation and kindness. Her love and gratitude had no bounds. She had a need and desire to care for those around her; family, friends and strangers alike. There was never “not enough time” to lend a helping hand, to listen, or to love and support those she just met, or those she had known a lifetime.
Some of my favorite moments are those we spent together, just her and I; talking of her youth and life, soaking up her wisdom, her strength, and her experience. The lessons I’ve learned, the strength I’ve gained, and the love that has grown in me simply by listening to her reminisce are endless. Every word that crossed her lips were words of inspiration and guidance. I feel thankful to have been part of her journey, and to have grown within her light, knowing that I am a better person because of it.
Although the world, in my opinion, has lost a little of its sparkle without her in it, her light and her love continues to shine brightly through all she has touched. Her impact on the world was great and as I look around this room I see her legacy. I see her strength and her love shining through each and every one of us. For that I am moved, I am inspired, and I am comforted.
Whether we realize her true impact or not, I know that her spirit, her beauty, her heart and her life carries on through me. Every time I whisper her words, hum her tunes, help someone in times of trouble, simply spread love or show compassion, I will fondly remember the woman and the role model who passed the greatest of values onto me.
To my most treasured Nannie, thank you for a lifetime of memories, inspiration and support. But mostly, thank you for showing me the true power of unconditional love. I am forever missing you, loving you and living on in your memory. I will continue to follow in the greatness you have created for the rest of my life.
The best way I can celebrate your incredible life is to carry on exactly as you have, a life filled with compassion, devotion and love. My tribute and my gift to you will be to live by and spread the same values, lesson and love you have taught me.
Loving you always and forever.
Your Brittany (Bee)