Nanny

There’s been some hard things Ive had to do in my life. Miscarriages- very late term. Friends’ deaths. Burying my Dad. Getting a Brain Rot diagnosis. But I don’t think there’s ever been anything as difficult as telling my Grandmother that her child died. That child was my Dad. Kids aren’t supposed to die before their parents. They just aren’t. Its un natural. And unfortunately Ive known a few people who’ve lost children way too young. And though my Dad was 53 when he was killed…he was still her child. And telling her that he was dead….just moments after I’d found out myself…it’s just something I’ll never forget. And I’ll always live with. And in that moment of raw, intense grief I thought mostly of my own loss. My Dad died. Way too young. Very violently. And I sat in my grief and felt it so deeply I can’t express. And I regret not knowing in that moment that the loss I felt…however deep and intense…could not compare to hers.
There is no loss greater than that of a child. None.
Allie Christeen Griffin was born in Denton, Texas in 1926. On a farm. Her father died when she was 5 years old in a logging accident. Her mother died when she was 18 of cancer. She was an orphan at 18. I cannot even imagine. She went on to get a job in Denton where she’d meet my grandfather, fall in love, have a very long marriage and 2 kids. She helped raise me. When my super young parents had me they had to work. So she kept me several days a week. She made me cookies and taught me to sew and read to me and took walks with me. I was an only grandchild for 6 years so I was a bit spoiled. And unbelievably lucky to live so near all of my grandparents.
She helped me buy my first car. She told me to go away for college. Her & Pawpa told me how unbelievably important an education was. And helped pay for that too. Not enough words for how grateful I am for that. When my heart broke, she came to see me at college with my Mom. She was at my High School graduation. She was at my college graduation. She was at every football and basketball game I cheered at. She made me dresses and hemmed many a prom dress for me. She made a quilt out of my college sorority t-shirts. She got to see my babies grow up. She was my Nanny. I love her. She is who I am built like. Physically.
She is with Pawpa & Dad now. The pain I’ve felt since losing my Dad is immeasurable. So thinking of how her heart has been broken for the last decade makes me sad. My Dad loved her. I loved her. I always will. And be grateful for it all.
When my Pawpa was dying of cancer she was at his bedside and he was laying there with one eye open. She asked him to please sleep and close his eyes. He said he needed to keep at least one eye on her because she was pretty & might get away. Once in awhile the fates get it right. Fate got it right with them. I am sad. But my heart is full of gratitude for being blessed with such an amazing grandmother. And an amazing example. Just like my Dad often did- she told me she was proud of me. And THAT..…….is everything.
She gave me her old jewelry box full of costume jewelry YEARS ago. It smells like her when I open it. I wear the jewelry…often. I think I’ll wear it more often now.
Love you, Nanny. Peace for you now.
This song has always reminded me of you- now it is quite fitting….
“You greet another son, you lose another one
On some sunny day and always stay, Mary”
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