Firstly I want to thank you for the sympathetic comments regarding the passing of my Nana. It hurts so much but I have such wonderful amazing memories of her...
When I was a child, I spent at least one night a week at my Nana's house. Mom's mom was the best Nana ever. I remember her calling me sweetie but she would say it kind of in baby talk so it sounded like "fweetie" and no matter how rotten I was, when Mom came to pick me up, Nana always gushed about what an angel I was. My Nana was a spunky grandmother. She was tiny, she came up to about my eyes and I'm 5' 5" so she was little. She had the figure of a young woman who had never had children, despite having given birth to 5 of them. I remember the one time I purposely disobeyed her. I only willfully rebelled against her this one time. I stuck my tongue out at her because she told me I couldn't do or have something I wanted. She told me if I stuck my tongue out at her again she would cut it off. Now if you knew what a tiny little sweet woman my Nana was, you would laugh at the very idea. I was about 10 at the time and at first I didn't believe she would do it so, being a child with a sin nature I decided to test her. I stuck my tongue out again. Lickety-split she came around the corner with a pair of scissors! She held them in front of my lips and told me she was ready just go right on ahead and stick it out again so she could cut it off. I became convinced she was really going to do it and started to cry and apologize and beg her to please not cut off my tongue. Afterward I realized that cutting my tongue off would be the last thing my Nana ever would have done... but somehow even though I knew she wouldn't really, I respected her more for having scared me straight. I don't recall ever defying her before or after that.
I remember Nana would always let me mash hash marks in the tops of her molasses cookies when we would bake together. There were a few things that Nana made that were just better than everyone else's in the whole world, no matter if they used the exact same recipe! No matter how hard she tried, Mom never could get her spaghetti or molasses cookies to quite be as tasty as Nana's were, even though she used the same recipe.
I remember once Nana told me a story about not talking to strangers. She said when she was a little girl she was playing outside and a stranger drove up and told her he was going down the street to the candy store and would she like to ride along? She said she had to ask her mother first. He tried to convince her that the candy store was not very far away and it would only take a few minutes. She repeated that she had to ask her mother so he said Okay and she ran inside to ask her mom. Her mom ran back outside with her to see who this suspicious fellow was but he was gone without a trace, a pretty sure indicator that he would have done something horrible had my Nana, little Dorothy, not done the right thing and asked her mama's permission.
I remember going for bike rides with Nana. I remember she would tell me I should eat the crust on my sandwiches because crust makes your hair curly. I remember she kept toothbrushes for us at her house and every time we'd arrive for a visit she would have the toothbrushes boiled and sealed up in saran wrap. I remember she would get No More Tangles spray for my ever long hair and my sister's too, to get out the tangles. First she would lay a towel on the kitchen counter and lay us each on it with our head over the sink and she would use the sprayer to wash out hair so gently. It always felt so good. I wish I could ask her how to get my own daughter to stop being afraid of having her hair washed.
I remember the books she had at her house for us. It was a treat to read them. Some of my favorites were there. "Are You My Mother?" and "The Story Of Ferdinand," and some others. I remember how she would play a game of Parcheesi with me before bed. She would always pin her hair in curls with bobby pins and cover them with a bandana before going to sleep. Every night for as far back as I can remember she always did this.
She used to sew my sister and I each a new dress (and buy my brother a nice new church outfit) for every Christmas and every Easter. I think I was 13 when her arthritis became so bad she couldn't do it anymore. I still have some of those wonderful special dresses she made for me. I would wear them everywhere, constantly, until they were so much too small they looked more like a shirt than a dress. Sweet twirly dresses with full skirts and lacy collars... Wonderful dresses from Daisy Kingdom patterns that were every little girl's fantasy.
She always saved her change for us kids and when we came to visit she would get down the change jar and divide it up between the three of us.
Every Christmas and Easter she would give us special treats. Just a few but she would put them in little baggies or packets of saran wrap and it might just be 10 jelly beans and 3 malted eggs but it was so much more because it was overflowing with love. There was always an orange at Christmas. She had a bunch of Christmas stockings she would put a handfull of candy and an orange and some nuts in each one and everyone got one each Christmas.
She always bought our shoes too. Every time we needed shoes Mom would trace our footprints and mail them to Nana, who would take them into the shoe store and find the perfect shoes.
And she never forgot our birthdays. Even mine 2 days after Christmas which so many people forgot or ignored, Nana never ever forgot me. Nana and Grandpop gave us $1 for every year old we were until we maxed out at a $20. ;)
Grandpop passed away in July of 1999 after a series of strokes, just before my Nana's 83rd birthday. She wasn't the same in those last few years. She wanted to join him.
In the end of October I was visiting my parents. Nana and my mom's brother Bob came up to visit while we were there. I'm so glad they did- it was the last time I saw her. She was happier than I'd seen her in years. She got to meet Babykins and love on my other kids. I wish my kids could have known her, and known her better. I miss her so much!