Something about loss had me revisiting and thinking about those I miss the most at times. I miss Sarah - the 21yr old me who was woken up by my parents and told my best best friend, only a week shy of 21, had been killed by a drugged up teen in a car on a straight road. But most of all, I miss my Nana - the lady who was part of a trifecta of women who raised me. Here is what I wrote for her funeral in January. Rest easy.
Most of us here would know the Beatitudes in some way shape or form:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If I could add to the Bible, I would add Blessed are the grandparents, especially my Nana. I’m going to use grandparents here as I can’t speak of Nana without remembering Grandpa who passed 15 years ago as well. I was amazingly blessed in that Nana and Grandpa took me in, not only during my university years, but most school holidays before that.
Blessed are the grandparents who spoil and snuggle with you.
Blessed are the grandparents who hug you and hold you and hope with you when life is difficult.
Blessed are the grandparents who prayed for you – but not just prayed for you – acted on those prayers and supported you, driving down Island and packing you up and taking you back up North with them so you could achieve your dreams – even if you didn’t know they were your dreams yet.
Blessed are the grandparents who pamper you – buying cocopops and tiny teddies for you even though you’re 18 and starting University. Who had rice risotto with a couple of slices of bacon beside it waiting for you when you got home from a shift a KFC – and had washed the uniform from the day before as you only had two and tomorrow it was meant to rain.
Blessed are the grandparents who worry – I think Nana was most excited when she realised my restricted drivers license meant I’d have to be home by 10pm for at least 12 months. And even a few years later – she would stay awake till I got home and knocked on the bedroom door to tell her I was back.
Blessed are the grandparents who share, their homes, their hearts, their life skills – I’ve never looked at roses the same way after living with Nana – she shared her knowledge, her love and her passion about them with me. Pretty much every early still Saturday morning during rose season we would be outside, me holding and pumping the backpack and her spraying. I know where to cut them while pruning and whether I should be using copper or something else on them. I can still visualise the deck outside the living room while I was there was filled with pots with rose cuttings covered in plastic breadbags while she propagated them with her brother Eddie.
Blessed are the grandparents who hold onto and share their passions. As long as I can remember, Nana painted. They were hanging everywhere, in the conservatory in Millard Ave where I remember tea parties with Carmen and Theresa. In my home my children are lucky enough to have hanging some of the paintings she did for me. They are more than just pretty pictures, they are part of her heart and legacy – and inspire her greatgrandchild Anya – who loves color and drawing with a passion as well. She’s proud to draw and paint ‘just like your nana mum.’
And finally, blessed are the grandparents who are brave and couragous – who stand up for their grandchildren and hold them tight, who tell them everything will be ok and life will pan out and that they are enough as they are.
Words can’t say in public how much Nana meant in my life and to my life. But from the bottom of my heart – thank you Nana for being the most important part of the tribe of women who raised me – it truly does take a village.