Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Lately, I feel like all I have blogged about is life and death.  And maybe those topics were on my mind because it wasn’t far from approaching.  On Tuesday morning, I woke up in New Zealand to find the below email from my dad.

Hi There,

I have some news to pass along about Mary Dell.

Love, Dad

My parents have never referred to others as the nickname I called them, including each other, but Mary Dell is my maternal grandmother, my sweet Nana.  Dad was brief in his delivery and I immediately felt a pit in my stomach as my eyes read over his words several times trying to decipher the message.  I had a similar feeling last August when I heard his voicemail of the same tune and stood in my kitchen letting my heart catch up to my head.

Brian and I made the call to my parents and learned that Nana had passed away an hour before on January 17th.  She reached her hand out to my grandfather, which she hasn’t been able to do in years, and he was right beside her, holding her hand in those final moments.  Nana deserved the most peaceful of passings, and I am grateful she had that.

My voice caught in my throat during that call, and I’m not exactly sure what questions I asked or what else I was told.  I was so happy for her and yet so sad for my grandfather, my mom, my aunt and uncles, all of us.  I took the time I needed that morning to miss her and wanted to spend the day doing something that would always be memorable and in honor of life.  Missing her came in waves the next couple of days, turning my sunglasses into my new BFF, allowing me to put them on and have a moment whenever I felt the tears creeping in.

There is so much about her I will carry with me forever, and I could write for days about who she was and why she was so wonderful.  We were very close and she taught me a great deal about life that I will always remember.  Nana was a physically stunning woman, yet somehow her heart was even more beautiful than her looks.  My favorite of the many words of wisdom she taught us has always been “Pretty is as pretty does,” and it means that regardless of how you look physically, you are as pretty as your heart is, and as pretty as your actions are.  And despite my stint as a pre-teen, I have always tried to practice “being pretty” the way Nana taught me.

Her life was hard and not without its share of tragedy, but she always chose kindness and happiness.  She chose to “be pretty” when pretty wasn’t easy to be.  And her funeral next Saturday will be a tear-filled one, because of what a truly fine woman she was.  But it will mainly be a celebration of a life we were blessed to be a part of, one that truly made the world a better place, and one that we know has gone home.

1 comment:

sara.patterson said...

What a beautiful tribute to your nana! She would love knowing that her influence has stayed with you. We love you very much and are thinking about you and your family.

All our love,

Sara & Chad

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