Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outgoing (05/05/11)
- TITLE: Our Rock, My Nana
By Kristi Ketz
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My Nana has been a good and faithful servant. She has tolerated so much without complaint. When my mother was an infant Nana's husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor that spread into their lives for the next 20 years until he finally passed away. After the diagnosis, Nana "let" him travel the world to see places he dreamed of seeing while she stayed home with her two daughters working as either a hairdresser or a mail carrier. When he was home, she cared for him too. She was the buffer between her husband and her daughters who were afraid of him due to his erratic behavior caused by the brain tumor. She was the rock that held her family together.
My Nana has also been the rock that has held my own family together. When my father refused medical treatment for a life-threatening illness and my mother battled depression during my infancy and toddlerhood, my mother tells of getting up and first thing putting me in the car before changing my diaper and taking me to Nana's where we would spend the day. It was a refuge from the desperation and heaviness that filled my paternal grandparents' house where we were living. Thankfully my precious father did survive that illness and his slow decline was eventually reversed with medical treatment. For my Nana, though, there is no medical treatment that can reverse 95 years of living and giving.
Nana has always been my rock and the primary stability on which I could depend. She has always been the same...dependable...never swayed by mood or circumstances. I have never seen her panic. She enjoyed painting, playing Joker, and for several years she was able to take trips abroad. These activities have never come before her family and my memories of her are in her kitchen wearing her apron while preparing huge meals that were fit for a celebration just for a regular Sunday lunch. Her worn Bible sat by her chair with the telephone, word puzzles, and remote control to watch her one guilty pleasure, As the World Turns. She has always been there and has always been available. Either in the kitchen or in her chair. I could come in and plop myself on the couch and tell her about my life while she would bring yummy sweets from the kitchen and rub my feet. Like she was to my mother when I was small, Nana has been my safe haven away from the chaos of the world outside.
It has been a few days since Mother's Day and Nana got up again. Her leaving us was not as close as we thought. We've settled back into our lives even though we know in the grand scheme of things she will be leaving us sooner rather than later. We don't have to be on vigil for the time being. We can go on about our lives knowing our rock is still here and isn't outgoing yet. When she does go, though, the peace, comfort, and stability she has offered us all of these years will not go with her. We have access to the source of her strength, which is the greatest comforter of all. When Jesus left this earth, he left us with his Spirit which cannot even be compared to the comfort we have received from Nana. We will still miss her, though.
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