There are some special people in our lives who never forget about us. They put themselves before others. That describes my grandmother. She went by so many different names. Katherine “Isabel”, Sis, Mama, Grandma, Granny (I switched from Grandma to Granny the first time I watched the Beverly Hillbillies. I thought it sounded neat. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t thrilled. Now I do!) but to many people, she was “Nannie” and that fit her very well. Even neighborhood children called her Nannie.
Today “Nannie” would have been 104 years old. She was born on August 28, 1914. She is celebrating her birthday in Heaven with the Lord and her precious family. Parents, siblings, her husband, three children, a son-in-law and one grandson. She went home to be with the Lord in 1999 and looked forward to “going home”. I remember a few weeks before she was “called home,” she told me about a dream she had the night before. She said that as she woke up, her beautiful, sweet mother was sitting by her bed, stroking her hair. She reached up to touch her mother’s soft cheek and asked if she had come to take her home. “Not yet,” her mother had said, “but it won’t be long.”
Isabel was eleven-years-old when she lost her mother but seventy-four years later, she still remembered her mother’s face and voice. No. I don’t think she had a vision but was looking forward to seeing her loved ones again. Someday, we will see her again!
I was thinking of different ways to celebrate her birthday. I could bake a devils food cake with her seven-minute frosting but I don’t have a double boiler or a hand mixer. She used to bake pineapple upside down cakes which were simply delicious!
One year, I bought mint julep candies in bulk and sent them to Mom and her sisters to share with their children and grandchildren. Granny had craved these candies when she was carrying my favorite aunt. To this day, whenever I hear the word Mint Julep or see the candy, I think of her. Perhaps today I will buy a Kit Kat bar in her honor.
Then I remember how she used to take me downtown on the bus to pay bills and shop. We always had lunch at the five and dime where we bought candy to take home for Aunt Sandara and for everyone to share. When I visited her after she moved to Richmond in the 1960’s she invited me to spend at least a week with her every summer. I loved that! I so longed for everyone to be together. She didn’t mind that we all talked at once, laughed loudly and sang in the kitchen. I think she relished it! As an adult, I lived in Richmond for a while and worked at a retail store. She would call me at work and ask me to bring her a Kit Kat bar. I usually bought a few for her. She would smile when I walked through the door with her treat.
There are so many memories of my selfless grandmother. She had a hard life but she didn’t let that get her down. This is one reason I write about her childhood. She worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant until past retirement age because she loved caring for others. She raised and helped raise at least three grandchildren and loved every child. I think her favorite thing to do was to rock babies!
She was a good money manager and always made me laugh. She always cared about everyone. I feel blessed that she was my Grandmother. Love you, Nannie. I will see you again someday!