Saturday was Nana Mary’s Memorial Service. There was lots of funny memories about her, photos of her glorious smile and a sampling of all the people she has touched. Pastor John gave a moving speech about her faith and her Bible. Cousin Erica cried as she recounted how Nana Mary encouraged her in everything she did, especially motherhood. Gary made a beautiful video slideshow with photos from over the years that the Worship Team accompanied with some of Nana’s special songs. But Poppy’s words have lodged in my heart.
Poppy read a letter he wrote Nana Mary last year, celebrating her 61st Mother’s Day. It was full of love and respect, and the story of how they met. I can’t tell it as well as he did, and I don’t have his words in front of me, but in a nutshell, Mary was the sister of someone he worked with and they met when their two groups ran into each other at a soda shop in Rhode Island. The evening went well, and when it ended, Poppy’s friend offered to drive Nana Mary and her brothers home. All six of them trooped out to the car.
The car sat 5. Obviously, someone was going to need to double up. So Poppy asked Nana Mary if she would mind sitting on his lap for the ride. She agreed. Poppy then asked her for a date the next night. She agreed. And as in all good love stories, they fell in love, got married and raised a family which had their own families, who in their time, had their own as well.
I’ve always heard the phrase “All because two people fell in love” and attributed it to their relationship resulting in their children. It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I saw how much greater that phrase resonates. Had Nana Mary and Poppy not danced and shared a car seat, Linda-Mom would not have been born. If Linda-Mom had been born to different parents (and thus been a different person) she would not have had my sister-friend Jen. Which means, I would have had a different best friend in High School. One that didn’t love me so much. One that didn’t have such an amazingly inclusive family that took me in as one of their own.
This weekend was one of shared memories and fellowship. I met an Aunt that I haven’t met before and more cousins than I can shake a stick at! We shared stories of Nana Mary and even a few of my Dad because they were part of the lore. There where in jokes and new jokes and acceptance. And it was the exact thing my soul has been crying out for.
Nana Mary, I didn’t get the chance to say this to you before. Thank you for your family. They are the best of you. You did well in raising them. They are amazing and a credit to you. And selfishly, their love and acceptance has made my life so much easier and better, and I don’t think I can ever thank you and Poppy enough for that.