In Memory

January 22, 2014 at 5:37 AM 4 comments

Last week, I lost someone who was very special to me.  She was like a grandmother, as all of my grandparents passed before I was born.  Thankfully, she lived a long and happy life.  But, still there is pain in losing a loved one.

The funeral was this past Friday and I said some words on behalf of my family that I thought I would share here as a further tribute to Nina.  To all those who knew me or my family growing up, surely knew Nina and the wonderful part of our family that she was.

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To Nina:

We had a very happy childhood and a big part of that was thanks to Nina.

She loved us as though we were her own.  From special nicknames to sweet hugs, she loved each one of us fully.  And she helped, along with our parents, set the foundation to love ourselves and others with full hearts.

Nina was clever.  When my brothers and I were squabbling at times, she would say to us, “that’s it, I’m going to the moon” and she would run off and hide.  After a while, we would stop our fighting and we would say, “I think she really did go to the moon” and we’d run around the house looking for her. Whenever we found her, we’d all laugh forgetting all about the sibling squabble .

She loved to bake.  There were days that I would come home from school and the house would be filled with the sweet fumes of homemade apple crisp.  I have never tasted a cookie as good as her chocolate chip persimmon cookies, made from persimmons she picked fresh from our backyard.

Nina was a protector and she made me feel safe.  When my parents were gone and I felt scared, I would run down to Nina’s room and sleep there with her, resting easy that she would keep me safe .

Nina was patient.  She could almost handle my dramatic teenage years the best. She had a magical way of finding the exact piece of clothing that I absolutely had to wear to school that day or my life would be over.  I would be a mess looking for a specific sweater and Nina would come up and pull it out of a teenage pile of tormented clothes and save the day.

You couldn’t get anything past Nina.  In those teenage years, I would have a better chance sneaking out of the house or doing something against the rules when my parents were home.  When Nina was on duty, nothing got past her and everything got reported back in full detail.

She was a great listener.  She would listen when you would tell her stories and even when you weren’t telling her stories. My love of eavesdropping may have originated from Nina.  I used to sit and listen so intently to her phone conversations with her family, even though they were all in Spanish and I couldn’t understand a lick of it.

She was a joker.  She didn’t always joke but she would pull out these clever one liners that were very hilarious.  My brother, Joe, was always slow and late for school.  One year, she gave him batteries for Christmas to help speed him up.  He thought that was the whole gift and we all had a good laugh. But then, she pulled out a radio for the shower. Joe was super into music and took the longest showers so this gift couldn’t have been more perfect for him, even if it only further slowed him down.

She was a story teller.  She would tell stories of her childhood growing up and of her beloved family.   She would also tell wonderful stories of my mom’s brothers, sister and parents.

She was nurturing with all of our pets and she loved them dearly.  When you’ve got four kids and 1 million pets, life gets hectic.  But Nina always thoughtfully cared for the pets and she was very concerned with their well being.

Nina was a hard worker.  There were many times that my mom would ask Nina to please not clean something because it was dangerous and to rest.  But, Nina, wouldn’t have it that way.  She wanted to work, even if it mean climbing up a step stool or carrying baskets down stairs.  She was determined and dedicated to her work.

Nina was a care taker.  My family was incredibly blessed to have been under her care.  From bringing us chicken noodle soup in bed to stave off the flu to celebrating our most major accomplishments with us, like our weddings, she constantly loved and cared for us.  We are all the better and all the wiser from her sweet tender care. And I’m thankful for the honor of having 33 wonderful years with her.

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2014: Simplify Happy Friday

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