Friday, November 15, 2013

tough day

two years ago today I was at work when I found out that my husband and several other members of his unit had been called up to deploy to Afghanistan.

it had already been a tough day before learning this. I had been thinking of the events surrounding this time thirteen years ago (now fifteen).

Zola was a wonderful woman. the most wonderful I have ever known, even though I only knew her for 9 of my 24 years on this earth.

she was the most incredible grandmother, mother, friend to anyone... you could have never doubted the love she had for you. she was always so genuine, so loving, so Christ like.

she prayed for all of us so much. I know that sounds strange, but sometimes I can tell the things she prayed for. I'm so thankful for all of her prayers. I'm so blessed to carry on such strength and such a legacy.

those who knew her well say that I favor her. I favor her in ways I've forgotten but then remember.

I was once trying on some sandals, and when I looked down at them on my feet... I saw her feet. I had inherited her feet.

I got her creativity and love of design. I got her taste in classic, simple pieces of wardrobe and jewelry... and wanderlust.

she did this thing that others dubbed, the "Nanny shuffle" which was this shuffle that she did that somehow calmed down any child she held. I can do that, and I don't know how to explain that.

she taught me so much.

but I always am reminded of things I wish she had gotten time to teach me.

like crochet and knitting. I'm so glad I have some of her beautiful pieces left, just wish she could teach me how to create blankets for my future kids. just wish she could be there to see my future kids.

I wish she had gotten to see me graduate, to meet Jason. oh, she'd love him. and he would love her so much. he'd have to taste test her coconut cake to compare with his mom's. oh, that'd be hilarious.

the hardest is when I dream of her, being with her. hugging her, talking with her and telling her about everything. . . then waking up.

oh what a glorious reunion to look forward to.

I try to remember those best times and the most beautiful memories about her.

I love when others can tell me the other beautiful memories.

planning our wedding was difficult knowing that some of those who I wanted most to be there would not be.

few people know this, but it's absolutely so true of who she was, and I never want to forget it.

my grandfather flew in from Brazil to officiate our wedding. I can't imagine how hard this was for him, wanting Nanny to be there so much (as we all did).

after the ceremony but before taking pictures, I hugged him.

he said, with a quiver in his breath,

"you know that Nanny loved you so much. and you know that she never complained. she never complained once in the whole time she was sick. she only ever said one thing that she was upset about, that she wouldn't get to see her grandchildren get married. she wanted to be here so much, Joanna"

[ at this point we were both bawling. ]

yes. yes, that was Nanny.

(this cutie to the left is olivia not me)

if you have any stories of Zola, please feel free to share.

here's a song she used to sing:

"I love you, a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck"

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