The Healing Corner: Abbe's Story; Part Two

Nanny And Me

Vi, Mom, Nanny ~~ no matter how you refer to her, she was one special woman.

If you look up domestic housewife in the dictionary, you would see her picture. She loved her family immensely. She was a fantastic cook, stood by her family, could crotchet sweaters for babies and afghans in moments.

I would cook from the same recipe, and somehow it just would not taste the same as Nanny’s. She tried to teach me how to crotchet, and my scarf looked like Swiss cheese. She could whip up pies in no time flat that looked like it took no effort on her part at all. I envied all that…..and yet…

It was quite a few years after Pop-Pop Ray died. Nanny became a lost woman. We always looked at her as the strong person in the family and didn’t realize how much anything that happened outside the home was with his direction. Nanny was the master of her home and nothing else.

I tried, I really, really tried because I couldn’t see this relatively healthy and young-enough-to-enjoy-life woman, basically waste away. She just wanted to live life as shot off from the world. She didn’t drive outside her 5 mile radius and certainly not in the evening. The highlight of her day was the mail or paper delivery, and I would have mercy on these people if the delivery was 15 minutes late. She refused to get close to any friends. In the earlier years she did go on a few vacations with us and did come visit us a week or so at a time a few times a year. But that just dwindled. I just couldn’t understand it. She loved babies – why not donate your time to a hospital, I’m sure there are many a baby that needs to be rocked…..no. She loved to read….go to the library, take out a few books, maybe go to a book club there…..no….and on and on. I tried to offer suggestions and she just wouldn’t bite.

We had a special kind of relationship. I always called her on Pop’s birthday, their wedding anniversary, etc. Most people think about the dates but, I suppose feel bad about calling and mentioning it, and I always knew how important it was to have someone remember.

After several years of this I started to become frustrated and decided she’s just happy the way she is and who am I to try and change her to what I feel is right in the world……

……..one day after offering another suggestion…getting shot down…is when I came to that realization. I remember telling Ray….I love your mother dearly, think the world of her….however, if something ever happened to you I don’t want to ever turn into her. You can take the home cooked meals, the crocheting and keep them…life and finding ways to continue on are more humanistic to me.

…….a few months later I became a widow. Now I know how she felt…..and yet I couldn’t stay wrapped up in a blanket and hide all my life.

She told me how when I had been going through chemotherapy before Ray died, how he called her and started crying how he would handle everything without me….and now I had to worry about how I was going to handle everything without him. Both sides of the fence, the survivor and the widow – talk about a bizarre feeling.

What nobody knows about is some of the conversations Nanny and I had about widowhood. She wanted me to be everything that she didn’t have the inner strength to do. She felt it was important that I meet someone some day because I was too young to be alone a lot of years.

She thought it wonderful how I went back to school, how I continued to raise my children and how they are thriving, and how I tested my ground to rediscover life with all the pain that I felt inside.

We also had quite a few conversations of our Ray’s of sunshine. We were able to discuss a lot of things we
missed openly.
Whether I agree with it or not, I can now respect her for how she chose to handle her life solo…..I also respect myself for handling life that feels comfortable to my soul. Old world thoughts meet new world thoughts….or is it just a different type of person?


editor's note: The Healing Corner is a section of this blog that is open for contributions from readers. You can write about yourself, a loved one (with us or deceased), my mom, a pet, a particular time in your life, etc. The sky's the limit with The Healing Corner. I will gladly accept any form of writing (letter, story, poem, haiku,) and you are more than welcome to include pictures. Your submission can include your name, can remain anonymous, or can be accompanied with a pen name; it's entirely up to you. All I ask is that the submission be from the heart. Thank you.


StaceFavoch said...

Um, Daddy, what's with the shirt?

Deenuts Dana said...

His shirt?? How about those purple pants!