My Nanny Hunter died this morning of pneumonia. She’s my last living grandparent. My other grandparents died before I moved to Nebraska.
Nanny and Poppy Hunter were my dad’s parents and lived in Ontario. I didn’t get to see them often, but we kept in touch through letters and phone calls. Also, there were occasional visits. One of those times, Nan taught me how to make chicken and potatoes, beef stew, and a few other recipes. When relatives all got together for a wedding of one of my cousins, Nan and her sisters tried to talk with Andy and me about marriage. Naturally, they were delighted when that eventually happened.
A few years after I moved to Nebraska, I visited Nan during spring break. At that time, she was living in an apartment complex. However, she was struggling to care for herself, and so the hope was for her to move into an assisted-living situation. We sorted through old photos and other memorabilia. A lot got passed on to relatives or discarded. I felt sad to see how much of her past life no longer held importance. Nan and I also talked about how much she wished to remain independent. Yet we realized that maybe that was no longer possible. Perhaps, it was time for others to care for her. Not too long after, Nan did move.
On a couple of my summer trips with Andy to Canada, we drove through Ontario to visit Nan. By this point, she was using a wheelchair and no longer mobile the way she had been. For the couple of hours that Andy and I spent with her, we would play Scrabble. I always felt amazed at how quickly Nan could come up with long words to play.
I’m both sad and happy today. It hurts that I’ll never see Nan again on this earth. At the same time, ever since my pop died, Nan has been ready for heaven. I know Nan is where she wants to be, but I’ll sure miss her.
Many years ago, I wrote an article about my two grandmothers. Here’s the link: Canada–A New Homeland
Today the world is a little emptier. You’ll be forever in my heart, Nan.