It is difficult to lose someone you are close to. At times when we are faced with such a tragic loss, everything that we can encounter within the time this has occurred tends to be magnified and intensified.
Shortly after the holidays we found out my former sister in law (Linda, all nieces and nephews called her Nanny or Nana.) had a heart attack and stroke, after recovering enough she was sent home where she was able to, with some assistance, take care of herself, her doctors said it was just a matter of time they just didn’t know how much time she had left. Linda had diabetes which was the contributing factor to her poor health. She was 46 years young, the second youngest of four. I didn’t really follow on what was going on with her, but for some reason, as cynical as I am about other people; my natural reaction to these sorts of issues is “That sucks, but things will turn out alright”.
When I tried to pray, I couldn’t find the words. How do you pray when someone is about to die? That God miraculously heal them? That’s not how it works. Or maybe I don’t have the appropriate faith to “walk on water”, so to speak, and make it happen. So instead I prayed that her family and friends be prepared for the worst.
Young one had a special bond with Nanny, as did all the children, as a person her traits were similar to Mother Teresa. Saturday evening as my youngest daughter was getting ready for bed she had written a good-bye letter to her nanny, she had a feeling is all she said.
Dear Nanny, February 2, 2013
I love you! And I miss you so much! I haven’t heard on how you’re doing in about a month, so hopefully you’re doing decent.
I’m writing this “letter” because I have a feeling that you’re not physically with us any more…Hopefully none of that is true; but, if it makes you feel no pain, Go for it. I just need to say a few things… before you go…
What if you’re with Jesus? What if you’re not here and I can’t say goodbye? Would you still know that I love you?! If you’re with Jesus will you tell Grandpa Lally that even though I’ve never met him, and have no idea what he looks like; that I still love him. Nanny, will you please watch over everyone; they need you. Nana you were ALWAYS there for me… Even when you didn’t want to be a part of it! You took care of everyone, even if they didn’t deserve it. You didn’t even have to know them to help support them. I admire you SO much! Nana, if you’re in heaven will you tell me somehow that you’re there and you’re okay? What am I going to do?! I will never forget you! Thank you for all you have guided me through, supported me through those rough patches I call my life… Just, thank you for everything!
I Love You Nana!!
I wondered what we’d do if Linda died before young one got to see her. Well, she did. She went to bed Saturday evening never to awake on Sunday, February 3 just four days shy of her 47th birthday and yet when I heard the news…well, I don’t know what I felt. I wasn’t surprised. The best way to describe my thoughts was that I felt inconvenienced that ‘young one’ couldn’t see her one last time.
I loved and still love my sister in law (former or not she is still dear to me). I remember her to be one of the few people I could talk to without feeling patronized (and truthfully, nothing changed after I left her brother).
I love Nanny. I believe she is in Heaven, learning all the answers to questions we never asked, witnessing the dinosaurs and how they died, learning the creation of the universe and getting to know my God. I know this cannot bring her back; I wanted to do something for my children’s pain. God has her now, she is pain free.
Your Aunt (Nanny)
You look back on memories you forgot you had,
And at times you’ll smile even though it hurts so bad.
Your nanny is a special woman and no one can take her place,
You’ll find a piece of mind when you remember her smiling face.
Your nanny is an angel now she flies high above the rest,
And in your hearts always and forever she will be the best.
She has earned her wings and it’s time for her to fly,
I know it hurts as no one is ever ready to say good-bye.
She knows you do not understand and that you cry at night,
But as you finally drift off to sleep let her memory hold you tight.
She will be your guardian angel through the rest of your life,
Helping lead you on the path between what’s wrong and right.
Nanny loves you very much and her love will remain forever true,
Please don’t ever think for a second that nanny will forget you.
She has taken memories with her as she’s flown away,
Up to Heaven, free of pain, this is her new home to stay.
So although you cannot see her and you wish she could be there,
Nanny can always hear you and nanny will always care.
She is so proud of her family and that’s in her heart to stay,
Even though she’s an angel and has had to fly away.
So as you cry your tears remember your nanny’s love,
Being sent to you from her, from the beautiful Heaven above.
She will be there through your good times; she will
be there through your bad,
She’ll be there when you are happy; she’ll be there when you’re sad.
Your nanny has become and angel now, it is her time to fly,
And you will never know how bad it hurt me to watch you have to say good-bye.
Linda M Lally
February 7, 1966 February 3, 2013