“she was a fighter.” a phrase that will always be used when describing my nana. but last tuesday, nana’s fight came to an end as the Lord called her home. we don’t always know when our “time” will come. and we might not always be ready. and there may be feelings of unfinished business; or a purpose not yet served. but that’s what family and friends are for. to remind you of all the blessings you have. and the things that you have done; the memory you will leave behind.
i didn’t know my nana, grandma donna, much of my childhood since she lived in florida. but there was never a birthday or christmas that passed without a call to wish us well and a card signed, ‘love, nana.’ nana moved to minnesota in 2001, and i’m pretty sure it was a plan by God for her to be closer to her family. nana had a lot of struggles and hardships throughout her entire life. nothing came easy to her. and when she had to have open heart surgery, we knew that it wouldn’t be an easy recovery, but we were not prepared for how things would unfold. surgery was successful but a long road of complications followed.
last tuesday when we knew she could not hold on much longer, she was surrounded by family, including her 3 children. we spent the evening telling nana how much we loved her, that we would miss her, and that it was ok. as per nana’s standard, she had an agenda of her own. and she wasn’t ready to leave us yet. we played countless songs on pandora, listened to stories of when mom and her brother and sister were kids, and told our favorite memories of nana; we said prayer after prayer; but death has it’s on clock. and that was a harsh reality to be faced with when watching someone you love seemingly struggle to leave us.
it was sad to watch her take her last breath, but a blessing that she was finally at peace; no more pain. no more struggle. no more suffering. and through her last days i learned more about nana than i ever had. and saw how many great qualities she had passed on to her children. she taught them to be independent; to work hard and never quit; to persevere; and the importance of family. these qualities have been passed on to us grandkids as well. and i know it made her so proud to see the accomplishments of her kids and grandkids. to see the wonderful lives they are leading. and i know she loved to be surrounded by those kids one last time before she had to leave us.
nana, we love you. we will miss you, and you will not be forgotten. say hi to sharon and give dana and haley a kiss for all of us. kari and i are determined to make tea time tassies for christmas dedicated to you; and your stool in the kitchen will open for you. though you are no longer here with us, we know you’re not really gone. and we need a source of strength to fight on; we will be reminded of you. xoxo
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
“Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, “God, you don’t know what it’s like! You don’t understand! You have no idea what I’m going through. You don’t have a clue how much this hurts. The cross is God’s way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments. The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, “Me too”