I was stubborn, prone to acting out (bless my family), and feisty, but also bright, and full of energy. Being the only girl (in a family full of testosterone, immediate and otherwise), I was aware that I should have been a "daddy's girl." And, while I've always loved my father, I was decidedly a Nana's girl from day one. My grandmother, Sara Ellen Peters, or Nana, or Nan as I liked to call her, was my mother's mother and the sun in my sky. There was nothing she couldn't do or say to make all seem right with the world. She sang (we convinced her to yodel on more than one occasion); she read stories; she drew lifelike images that should have covered the walls of museums; she had an imagination that exceeded any kid I knew; she cared for people; she frequently offered kind words as simple exchanges; she grew strawberries and let me help; she let me try on every shoe in the closet (and then find the purse to match); she did everything that was wonderful and always with a smile on her face. It would take me a lifetime to write it all down.
I mentioned, shortly after her passing, that I wanted to dedicate a post to her, but couldn't manage it. Today would have been her 77th birthday; we would have celebrated with coconut cake, one of her favorites. We miss her terribly, but know she's with us daily.
Everyone experiences loss. It's always heartbreaking and hard to recover from. Sometimes it's harder when it's unexpected or happens too soon, but I don't think anyone can ever be truly ready. The everyday is tough, but I find that the holidays can be even more saddening. Traditions that hold a special place and memories tied to those moments will forever be bittersweet.
I wrote her a letter expressing my gratitude for her love the Christmas before last. I think she showed it to every person she knew at some point in time, and even kept it in on display in the living room. Nothing has made me happier than to know how much it meant to her, to know how much I meant to her. I would never have become the woman I am today without her love and guidance, and am so thankful for the time we were able to spend together. I've always been aware that I was fortunate to have such a close relationship with her and will carry that forever.
I appreciate you taking the time to allow me to sit here and spill my heart. I am so grateful for this community and the opportunity to share something that means so much. I hope you're enjoying this holiday season and that you're making memories you'll hold forever.
Here are some old photos my Papa gave me to make copies (I love every single one):