Remembering My Nana

My sweet Nana passed away a couple of days ago so I’m getting ready to go to North Carolina for her funeral. I am at peace with this and was unsure whether I wanted to mention it on the blog in such a public way; but then I realized it’s very therapeutic for me to let everyone know what a fabulous and classy lady she was. She is my mom’s mom and she lived a very full and active 91 years, dedicating herself to the care of others. She was one of my most favorite people in all the world.

Nana-&-Grandaddy-1945Bud and Helen, 1945

Nana was a nurse back in the days of WWII and she met and fell in love with her high-school sweetheart. They were married for over 50 years until he passed away almost 18 years ago, a few months after getting to see his first great-grandchild – my oldest son. Nana was one of the most kind and loving people I ever knew, and I never heard a cross word come out of her mouth.

Nana,-Mom,-Laura,-ChristaNana, Mom, my older sister, and me – circa 1976.

Nana was a southern belle who grew up to be the most fabulous southern cook. Growing up, I spent two weeks with her and my Grandaddy (Bud, they called him) every summer in the mountains of North Carolina. It was such a special place to be, and I knew whenever I visited, they were excited to have me and my siblings over for a visit. We also saw our grandparents each Christmas, and Nana went out of her way to make sure we all felt loved and spoiled (in a good way). Although we lived on opposite ends of the country, we were always super close.

Nana-&-Grandaddy,-christmasThey always made me feel loved – especially during the teenage years! 1991-92.

Nana was the one who always taught me to be kind to others, to follow the KISS principle (Keep it Short and Sweet) and to keep-on-keepin’-on even when things got tough. Although we practice different religions, she always reminded me to pray and stay close to Heavenly Father. After all, she would tell me, “we all pray to the same God: some just do it on their knees, some bow their heads, some clasp their hands, and some fold their arms, but he hears it, all the same.”

2010 Christmas 4 generationsFour generations of women: Nana, my mom, me and my daughter. Christmas 2010.

I sure will miss her this Christmas, but I have such sweet memories to cherish. Although not a sewer herself, she did some needlepoint over the years, always encouraged me in my artistic efforts, and bought one of my first quilts when I used to sell them years ago. The whole family went on a cruise together over the summer, and Nana kept up with all of our shenanigans without any complaint.

2014-Family-CruiseFamily picture from our cruise this summer – such sweet memories!

Nana left a legacy of two daughters, three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. We all miss her, but we will Keep On Keepin’ On! 🙂

56 thoughts on “Remembering My Nana

  1. Leslie Schmidt says:

    What a lovely tribute to your Nana. I’m sorry for you and your family, but she had a long, inspiring life and I know you filled it with joy for her. We called my dad’s mother Nana, too. They were a stunning couple in their wedding picture!

  2. Andrea Raymond says:

    You and your family is in my prayers. (I can only hope that my granddaughters see me as dearly as you did with your Nana. I am also Nana, my granddaughters’ mom is my daughter and I am a nurse.). Your story is beautiful; there’s nothing like a Nana!

  3. Debbie Benson says:

    Christa, I’m so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing her with us. She sounds like a wonderful person and a complete blessing in your life. You have the delight of carrying her with you, as you portray many of the blessings she bestowed upon you. I’m prayerfully with you and your family as you mourn the loss of a special loved one. With prayer, Debbie

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  4. Debi J. says:

    Sweet Grand child Thank you for remembering me with kind thoughts and memories instead of tears. While I will miss you, I will be spending Christmas with Jesus this year . I wish you could hear the Angels sing the songs we both hold so dear. So as you sing the songs we love, don’t be sad just remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus this year.
    Love always Nana

    These are almost the exact words I received when my Gama passed . Warmest blessing and thoughts are sent your way.

  5. Karen Mealyea says:

    Hi Christa,
    my thoughts are with you and your family. I lost my nanna at a similar time last year and whilst you can take comfort in a well lead, long and happy life it is only natural that you will miss her. Think happy thoughts of her often.

    Thank you for sharing glimpses of your life beyond quilting it’s part of what makes your blog a great read. I think you have the balance of business and personal just right. I started reading your blog a couple of years ago after purchasing some lovely fabric from you, and you have the dubious honor of being the only blog I subscribe to. I have enjoyed watching your professional journey from the other side of the world (Melbourne Australia), and have been thrilled for you as you achieve milestones in competitions, publication, and your return to teaching.

    I got a real buz seeing your chevron quilt staring at me from the cover of a magazine at my local newsagent. I also really loved the photos of you running in the desert near your home as you shared you thoughts on the inspiration you took from listening to podcasts (something I have yet to do) whilst training. Those personal touches and insights separate you from the pack.

    Keep up the good work, and all the best to you and your family for christmas and the days ahead.
    Karen

  6. littlefamilyhome says:

    So wonderful that you have such special memories to help you through your grief. She sounds like she was like you said a gem, a Southern Belle. I pray you and your loved ones have safety traveling to and back from her funeral and that you all have peace with her passing.

  7. Patrice says:

    Christa: my 91-year old mother died yesterday. She was a grand lady like your grandmother. Someone sent a quote today that I liked: “We will mourn her for a few days, but we will miss her forever.” Very sorry for your loss.

    • littlefamilyhome says:

      So sorry for your loss as well, but thinking it must be wonderful to have such good memories to look back on during this period of grief. If you and your family are traveling to a funeral, I pray that you have safety going to and coming back home as well.

  8. Mary says:

    What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. How wonderful that you have the photos tracking her life to accompany your memories. My grandmother was born in 1881 so she has been gone for a long time now but I still remember her smile, how she taught me to crochet and play cards, and what a simple life she led but always gave joy to others. Her homemade bread made in a wood burning stove is still remembered by all of us. Thank you for sharing as it reminded me of my grandmother, too, and what a blessing she was to me and yours to you.

  9. Dianne Mitzel says:

    so sorry for your loss. I lost my son 2 years ago, and my husband this past June. It is very hard to face the holidays without our loved ones. We have wonderful memories to cherish and recall. I live in Charlotte, where did your Nana live? I love your blog, and follow you daily. God bless you!

  10. peg hambrecht says:

    So sorry for your loss Christa. My dad passed 22 yrs. ago yesterday at 59 yrs. old and he was a phenomenol human being that lived his faith. This is such a difficult time of year but they are in Heaven togehter smiling down on us now. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories and pictures. Loved reading it. Take care… God Bless… Merry Christmas! xo… Peg

  11. Beverly Philippone says:

    Christa, your love for your Nana is so beautiful, and you will always cherish the memories you and your family have of her.

    With sincere sympathies to you all.,
    Beverly

  12. Kathleen Dalecio says:

    I’m sorry for your loss but am so pleased that you are celebrating your Nana’s wonderful life! God bless you and your family at this difficult time.

  13. Karen Seitz says:

    This was a beautiful post, and I am so glad you shared. I know you will miss your Nana greatly and am happy you have such wonderful memories of her.

  14. Barbara says:

    What a blessing to have known your grandmother into adulthood, and to have your children know her as well. Many sympathies on your loss.

  15. annieb71 says:

    Hi Christa,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of your grandmother. Your wrote a lovely tribute. So hard – because I lost my mom, a year ago tomorrow. And I miss her mother, my grandmother, and I think of them both every day.
    You will always feel her love in other ways – other than those wonderful hugs, kisses and the sounds of their voice on the telephone. My heart is really with you, and she will always be a part of you.
    xoxo,
    Anne

  16. Jo Ann Moulds says:

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful memories of your Nana. My grandfather died at Christmastime, too, and we always felt the church was decorated beautifully for him because he loved Christmas so much.

  17. Sylvia Anderson says:

    Thank you so much Christa for sharing thoughts and sweet memories of your nana with us. Please accept my sincere condolences on her passing and I’m sure she is beaming with pride as she reads this blog about how much her granddaughter loves her. My dad died last year at 104 years of age and lived long enough to meet 4 of his great, great grandchildren. I remember how his face lit up whenever he got to see them. God bless you and your family as you deal with your grief, so close to Christmas.

  18. Anne says:

    Thinking about you and your family at this difficult time. You have some great memories to cherish with your lovely family.( great picture). All the best.

  19. Karen says:

    It sounds like you will never “lose” your grandmother. She became a part of who you are, and you, in turn, pass her legacy of unconditional love to your own family. Love to all of you. And find a Merry Christmas in all of this–she surely would’ve wanted that 🙂

  20. Susan says:

    So sorry for your loss. It’s wonderful that you have such great memories and love for her. My grandmother passes away when I was pregnant with my first child. He is 26 now but I still miss her. So glad I have great memories too. Hugs to you!

  21. eswatniki says:

    What a lovely memorial to your Nana. My grandma died 40 years ago and I still think about her a lot as you will too. Blessings to you this Christmas-may your Heavenly Father hold you close through this time of sorrow.

  22. Judy says:

    Your recount of Nana has me teary-eyed. I do thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of this grand lady. Please, when you and your family gather to mourn her loss and console one another be sure to celebrate her long and loving life. Not everyone is so fortunate to see 91 years!

  23. Hedy Hahn says:

    So sorry about your loss. I had a very loving grandmother too and I still miss her even though its been about 35 years since her death. Reading your remembrances brought back thoughts about my grandma, so thank you for sharing.

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