My Grandma (Nanny) passed away on Monday at the age of 94. We will certainly miss her dearly, but she really lived an amazing life. And this week I found myself feeling very bittersweet about her death.
Nanny was a beautiful lady as you can see in her picture above with my grandfather. They were married 59 years before he passed away in 2005. Nanny was always so full of joy and happiness. She loved being around people and had one of those cute little laughs that force you to laugh. It was so genuine. In contrast, I make people laugh by laughing at my own jokes before I tell them.
At every occasion Nanny was all about serving people. She loved making homemade meals for all of us. She was Italian and made incredible manicotti from scratch that you did not want to miss. It was the kind of food that you pretty much canceled all other plans to be there for the meal.
When I was young I went to a middle school that was pretty far from my house. I had football practice right near her place after school, so instead of going all the way home, I spent my afternoons with Nanny and Poppy relaxing, doing homework and eating plenty of food. Sometimes I even sat through watching M.A.S.H with them. Haha. I sure will never forgot those afternoons.
Nanny is my father’s mother and she had three other children… Uncle Mark, Aunt Barbie and Aunt Janice. And they are all amazing people with beautiful families. She was the ultimate connector for all of us and always brought everyone together. The picture below is at her 94th birthday eating pizza and spaghetti.
As I mentioned before I was a little confused this week about how I was feeling about losing Nanny. I was sad at first but also felt so complete about her living so fully for 94 years. She was eating pizza and dancing two weeks before she passed away. I just think that is so incredible. I have watched so many loved ones spend years in the hospital living through some very difficult illnesses. Nanny took a turn for the worse on a Friday when she was not responding and then died on a Monday morning. And that weekend she again brought everyone together to say goodbye. Sometimes I wonder if she had it all planned.
Florence “Nanny” Davis was so full of compassion, and I learned so much by watching her be the person she was. She really brought out the best in all of us and especially my younger brother Hunter these past few years. Hunter used to go eat dinner with her twice a week, and I know this meant the world to both of them. My Mom and Dad have always been extraordinary caretakers of people, and I have been so proud of Hunter for following their example.
Nanny always made the most of every situation. She moved around to several assisted living facilities after my grandfather passed away and always became the staff’s favorite lady. Three nurses even came to her funeral yesterday. They took such special care of her, because she cared about them. And when you came to see her she was always so excited and full of joy. I always left my grandmother feeling energized. And I want her to know that she really left our family, our community and our world a better place than when she found it.
And if you weren’t quite sure if she personified living life to the fullest, take a look at the picture below at 94 yrs of age. Hey, Nanny I hope I can be like you one day too. We will miss you.