Nana Says

My grandmother is 93 years old, and she is not only my namesake, but I give her much credit for the person I am today.

As of now, she lives in a rehabilitation clinic using her mornings and afternoons to try to walk again in a successful manner.

Nana knew about Sauvignon Blanc way before I even started thinking about wine.  She could also use the terms Sancerre and Pouilly Fume correctly in 1998, when most people in Edgecombe County didn’t know Chardonnay was a grape.

A native of Rexburg, Idaho, she met my grandfather in World War II in North Africa.  One look at her, and he fell madly in love, ultimately bringing her back to his hometown to be his bride and lifelong mate.

She never looked back, and has lived in Tarboro since the young age of 25.

I didn’t get to meet her parents, but knowing her, I cannot even think about how much they must have missed her when she permanently moved all the way across the country.

The other day when I was sitting in her room at Golden Living, she started talking to me about all of the people who were in pain in our community that were much younger than her.

Nana told me she wakes up in the morning getting ready to ask for God’s blessings upon her, but then she thinks of someone who needs it a lot more than she does.

She said this pattern continues until she goes to bed at night, realizing she has spent the entire day blessing others because she kept thinking of more and more people who needed God’s grace and mercy.

This random thought touched me so much, and I have been thinking about it ever since she said it.

Today, of course, most people’s hearts cracked as they read or watched the horrific news about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut.

It reminded me of Nana’s wise blessing: Waking up getting ready to ask for herself, but then acknowledging there are so many others who need it ahead of her.

I pray I will always remember these words, and that I will continue to ask for peace, comfort and love to these grieving families and to all those who mourn senseless pain.

At 36 years old, I find one of my life’s greatest joys is having my grandmother share her wisdom with me as I blindly walk down this path called life.  She has seen all kinds of hurt and heartbreak, and even today, she cries tears of grief from the hospital bed where a television is her constant companion.

Nana doesn’t say it isn’t fair at her age to still have to watch all of this awful pain and suffering.

Instead, she wakes up in the morning, asking God to heal those who she claims are in a lot worse shape than she is.

“If that’s possible,” Nana says with a gentle smile.


Nana at Christmas Eve 2011

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  • What beautiful thoughts! You’ve learned your attitude from a master. Carry on! Mary Egg

  • Lovely.

  • Helen Marrow

    Sweet. Tell her I love her next time you see her please. Helen

  • Sharon Britt

    Your grandmother has always been a role model for me since moving to Tarboro. You are truly blessed to have her.

  • I agree Sharon…she is my hero

  • I will…it will make her smile to think about you.

  • Sally Harris

    Fred and I rang in the New Year in the perfect way, dinner at On the Square in Tarboro . We were on our thousand mile drive from Great Barrington, Massachsetts where we live, to St. Simon’s Island Georgia to see Virginia, Fred’s Mother, who is 102 years old. I loved your words about your grandmother. As I write this, we are moving North on I 95, just passed the turnoff to Tarboro.
    Thanks for telling us about the cemetery. I loved seeing it. Blessings to you and yours in 2013.

  • Blessings to you as well Sally. Thank you so much for taking time to visit us at On the Square.

  • Sandra Livesay

    Inie–you are Inez! I hope she’s left a handwritten memoir for you.
    That will be quite a remembrance.