The first time I met Ty’s Nana was Thanksgiving at her house when Ty and I had been dating about 6 months. I hadn’t been there 15 minutes when she pulled out a photo album full of pictures of wedding cakes she made and tasked me with finding the ones I liked. Ty and I hadn’t even talked about getting married and here she was quizzing me about cake details? I guess it worked, because when we did get married the next October, she made exactly the cake I envisioned. For my Braun and Harper’s first couple of birthday, she made tractor, train, and pink cakes that were, of course, huge hits.
Since her stroke Nana frequently didn’t recognize me. But she always knew my kids and Ty. Anytime I would show her Ty’s picture or FaceTime from her room so she could see him, she would get so excited and tell me repeatedly how handsome he was. “Oh he is just so cute, just look at that face.” She might have been glad to see me, but I was no Ty.
During covid, I was able to kind of sneak the kids in to see her at the nursing home. You have never seen anyone so proud to show off a couple of kids as she was. She had many gifts, but I feel sure that being a Nana was the one at which she shined the most.
Over the last couple of months, I spent quite a bit of time with her in the hospital. This was where I got to see more of feisty Nana, and she was my favorite.
They kept her legs wrapped and she was not afraid to tell you that she was NOT a fan. She kept asking me take them off and I told her I couldn’t. Exasperated she said, “just give me your knife and I’ll do it myself!” I told her I didn’t have a knife on me in the hospital room. She looked me square in the eyes and said, “I am so disappointed in you.”
Later that same day, our discussion over the leg wraps continued. After some more back and forth she got frustrated and told me that if I didn’t take those wraps off, she was going to fight me. I’ve got to be honest, I think she could have taken me!
Another time she had been sleeping most of the day, but I knew she liked the Country Hymn station on Pandora, so I had it going. The nurses came in to adjust her position so I turned it off while they were working. I was standing next to her bed when she grabbed my shirt and sternly said, “You! Sing!” I’m for sure no singer but you better believe I scrambled for that play button.
But my favorite Nana story came last Christmas at our house. It was a pretty simple brisket dinner. But she acted like it was fit for a king. She had to have eat enough for 3 people and made me sneak her a to go bag for the car. When it came time to pray, we circled up as we always did. I then realized that it was Nana who always prayed. But after her stroke, she struggled with her words and sometimes got frustrated. I didn’t know what we would do. But Jana didn’t miss a beat and said, “Mom, will you pray for us?” She did, and every word was right. Standing there in that kitchen I just thought what a testimony that was to God’s kindness and Nana’s faith.
Nana went home to Jesus today. What a beautiful moment that must have been. We were lucky to be loved by her.