Friday, February 5, 2010

Remembering Nana

Nana blows out her candles at her 89th, in 1993.

Yesterday, my grandmother, Ruby Logan Beardsley, would have been 106 years old.  She went on to heaven when she was 94.  We called her Nana.  Being stationed in Hawaii since I was 4 years old, my parent's families where always very far away.  I didn't grow up with extended family around.  But when I was in about the 7th grade, my Nana came to Hawaii to live with us.  She was having trouble living on her own in Colorado Springs.  The winters were too much for her arthritis.  I got to give up my room and in return, I got a grandma right in my own house.  It was great. 

Playing around ~ about 1920.

Since my mom worked and my older sisters where either in college or about to graduate from high school, Nana and I got to spend a lot of time together.  She introduced me to Soap Operas.  We'd watch All My Children together almost everyday when I got home from school.  She tried to teach me to knit, but being a lefty, I didn't really get it.  I loved to hear Nana's stories about growing up on her parent's dirt farm in Missouri.  I thought she must have been Laura Ingalls in the flesh.  During her lifetime, she saw the coming of indoor plumbing, the convenience of electricity, the automobile, and the airplane and space ship.  She also saw the two "great wars" and a few not so great ones.  She lost her first love in WWI.  She never really talked about that, but we have the pictures she so carefully saved.  She followed Prent (my grandpa) to the oil fields of Wyoming and raised two boys there. 

Nana came for a visit in 1974

Nana was always there for me.  When I learned to drive, she let me borrow her car - a sweet Ford Maverick that could really move.  She showed me the power of resilience.  She was a tower of strength in a life that had its fair share of pain.  She was there when I graduated from high school, and then for college.  She was there at my wedding.  Then, when the time came for her to be in a nursing home, I brought my babies to visit.  We'd just sit and watch them.  She was so proud of them and always saved a cookie for them when they came over.
At Paradise Park ~ Nana's not as sure as I am about the birds...

I miss my Nana.  So yesterday, in honor of Nana's birthday, I made a batch of oatmeal cookies.  Nana made the best, but I tried...  I was about to put them in a ratty old plastic container when I remembered that I have her cut-glass cookie jar.  I took it down from the shelf and filled it with memories of her.

On my father's side of the family, my sisters and I are the oldest generation now.  I have many material things that remind me of who they were on this earth.  But it's the memories I carry in my heart that mean the most.  And it's the anticipation of our reunion in Heaven that I hang on to.  Who can be sad when our separation is only temporary?

Psalm 100
A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

1 comment:

  1. I drove a white Ford Maverick in high school.

    What fun and special memories you have of your "Nana"!